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Dell profits rise 144%

Consumer sales the only laggard

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In another sign that the tech industry is maybe, just maybe, climbing slowly and haltingly out of the toilet, Dell announced Thursday that its third-quarter financial results were healthier than Wall Street thought they would be.

"Dell is growing in the right areas, and I’m very excited about our momentum," said chairman and CEO Michael Dell in a canned statement.

Wall Street moneymen seem to agree — the Round Rock, Texas company's stock was up over 6 per cent in after-hours trading.

Dell reported a net income of $822m in its third quarter, up 144 per cent from $337m in the same quarter last year. Revenue totaled $15.4bn, a 19 per cent year-on-year increase from last year's $12.9bn.

Both Thomson Reuters and FactSet Research had predicted revenues in the $15.7bn range, which Dell failed to reach, but in the all-important earning-per-share metric, Dell solidly exceeded the moneymen's projections: 45 cents versus the expected 33 cents.

In three of the company's four main business areas, revenue growth was in double digits: enterprise revenue was $4.3bn, up 27 per cent; public-sector sales pulled in $4.4bn, up 20 per cent; and SMB accounted for $3.7bn, up 24 per cent.

Revenue growth from cash-strapped, worried, unemployed, foreclosed-upon, struggling consumers, however, was meager: at $3bn, it achieved only a 4 per cent increase. ®

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