Dell Screws Up, Posts Earnings Early

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Dell made a rare mistake today, reporting its earnings before the closing bell, giving some traders a chance to react while the market was still open.

After a flat trading day, Dell shares started to spike up at 3:42 p.m., going from $14.62 to $15.76 in a matter of minutes — a roughly 8% increase.

Why?

Turns out Dell accidentally posted some presentation material early. (Dell beat expectations — $0.24 EPS vs. $0.23 consensus. And revenue was solid, too.)

The company followed up by posting its full earnings report on BusinessWire at 3:57. Shares closed at $15.65, up 6.7% from yesterday’s close.

But the joke is now on some of the late buyers: Dell is now down 1% after hours.

Here’s what a Dell rep told us: “Some presentation material got posted early. It was an inadvertent error on our part. Consistent with full disclosure, we immediately posted our news release as soon as we recognised what had happened.”

Here’s Dell’s chart:

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