Dell Beats Street On Business Sales, Stock Soars


Computer maker Dell reported record quarterly earnings after market close today, handily beating analyst expectations.

The company earned 45 cents per share ($822 million) on revenue of $15.4 billion. Consensus estimates were 32 cents per share on $15.7 billion in revenue. The income figure is more than double from last year’s $377 million, and revenue was up almost 20%. The stock is up 6% in after hours trading on the news.

Most of the gains came from Dell’s sales to businesses, particularly enterprises (revenue up 27% from last year) and small and mid-size business (up 24%). Profitability in the small-and-mid segment was particularly strong, with operating income of $391 billion, a record. However, revenue in the company’s consumer business was up only 3% from last year. That probably accounts for much the revenue shortfall versus expectations.

The strong numbers are the latest indication of a rebound in business IT spending. Microsoft’s third quarter earnings were similarly stronger than expected, boosted by strong purchases of Office 2010 and other business products.

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