IBM, Hewlett-Packard Cede Some Server Share to Dell

International Business Machines Corp. (IBM) and Hewlett-Packard Co. (HPQ), the biggest sellers of server computers, lost market share to Dell Inc. (DELL) in the fourth quarter amid supply disruptions caused by flooding in Thailand, Gartner Inc. (IT) said.

IBM had server sales of $4.68 billion in the quarter for a 33.7 percent market share, down from 35.4 percent in the same period last year, Stamford, Connecticut-based Gartner said today in a statement. Hewlett-Packard’s 26.9 percent share of revenue contracted from 30.3 percent in the fourth quarter of 2010. Dell captured 14.8 percent, up from 13.1 percent.

Total server sales fell 5.4 percent from a year earlier to $13.9 billion, according to Gartner, as flooding in Thailand disrupted supplies of hard-disk drives made in the Southeast Asian country.

“The effect of the Thai flood was more about execution than exposure and in that respect Dell performed better than HP,” said Brian Alexander of Raymond James & Associates Inc. in St. Petersburg, Florida, in a telephone interview today. “HP, which prides itself on having a world class supply chain, was worse off this time,” said Alexander, who doesn’t cover IBM. He rates Dell a “strong buy” and Hewlett-Packard an “outperform.”

Dell’s Sales Growth

Of the top five global vendors, Dell was the only supplier to post server revenue growth, Gartner said. IBM’s server revenue dropped 10 percent compared with a year earlier, Hewlett-Packard dropped 16 percent and Dell gained 7.3 percent. While the total value of global-server shipments fell, the number increased 4.5 percent in the fourth quarter.

“Many providers could not meet the demand in the last weeks of 2011,” Jeffrey Hewitt, Gartner’s research vice president, said in the statement. “We expect the negative impact of these drive-supply issues to continue” this quarter.

“We saw this report as very positive for IBM, because in markets that really matter to us a lot -- I’m talking about very powerful servers -- we greatly outperformed HP,” Steve Eisenstadt, an IBM spokesman, said in a telephone interview.

Jim Hahn, a Dell spokesman, said in an e-mail that the company has been adding new servers and continues to work to mitigate the impact of flooding in Thailand.

“The situation has stabilized and our visibility is improving,” Hahn said.

Mylene Mangalindan, a spokeswoman for Hewlett-Packard, didn’t immediately respond to a phone call.

To contact the reporter on this story: Beth Jinks in New York at bjinks1@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Peter Elstrom at pelstrom@bloomberg.net

Press spacebar to pause and continue. Press esc to stop.

Bloomberg reserves the right to remove comments but is under no obligation to do so, or to explain individual moderation decisions.

Please enable JavaScript to view the comments powered by Disqus.