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Yesterday, Dell Inc. ( DELL - Analyst Report ) announced that it has completed the acquisition of storage-solution provider Compellent Technologies Inc. ( ) , after receiving shareholders’ approval at a special shareholder meeting. As consideration, Dell had to pay $27.75 per share for each Compellent share in cash. Dell expects the acquisition to be accretive to pro forma earnings in fiscal 2012.
Data storage plays a crucial role in cloud computing, which helps users access remote computing power and data over the Internet. Founded in 2002, Compellent Technologies is a global provider of enterprise data storage systems, which facilitate the automation of data movement and management at the block or granular level.
The company developed its flagship Storage Center software and hardware solution aimed at mid-size enterprises, selling it through an all-channel network of independent solution providers and resellers.
Dell’s storage offerings drive efficiency and reduce costs by streamlining operations. Compellent’s storage products will complement Dell’s enterprise storage solution suite. With the purchase now over, Dell will integrate Compellent’s assets into its storage portfolio, strengthening its existing storage portfolio.
The new unit will facilitate automated data transfer and management, tiering and thin provisioning. The enhanced storage platform will attract new users. Moreover, Dell will also have access to Compellent’s existing customer base and channel partners.
Dell entered the storage market in 2008 with its purchase of EqualLogic. However, the company was out of luck with its much-hyped bid for 3PAR Inc., losing out to archrival Hewlett-Packard Co. ( HPQ - Analyst Report ) . 3PAR provides highly virtualized storage solutions with advanced data management features (dynamic tiering, thin provisioning, etc.) for cloud computing environments. We believe the prospective synergy from Compellent’s acquisition will be able to cover the 3PAR loss to some extent.
Before this acquisition, Dell used to rely on EMC Corp. ( EMC - Analyst Report ) to provide it with storage solutions for its enterprise customers. Compellent, which is a direct competitor to EMC’s CLARiiON platform, effectively reduces Dell’s reliance on EMC in the mid-size enterprise market segment.
In July 2010, Dell acquired Ocarina Networks and Scalent Technology. The consecutive acquisitions were intended to beef up Dell’s enterprise solutions portfolio and were in line with its growth strategy for the enterprise business.
Apart from Dell’s acquisition spree, we remain encouraged by its decent fourth quarter numbers, with EPS and revenues moving up from the year-ago quarter. New products, a stronger services business, opportunities in the Electronic Medical Record sector, along with the introduction of Dell Streak were the achievements of the year.
However, a high debt level and increasing competition from Hewlett-Packard Company and Acer concern us.
Currently, Dell has a short-term Hold recommendation, as is indicated by the Zacks #3 Rank.
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