Dell's Q3 profit surges, and so do shares

Computer maker's enterprise, government divisions show big jump in sales

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Shares of Dell (NYSE: DELL) climbed north of 7 percent in after-hours trading Thursday following release of the computer maker's third-quarter report, which showed a more than doubling in profits.

Dell's Q3 net income of $822 million, or 42 cents a share, was 144 percent above last year's profit of $337 million, or 17 cents per share. Adjusted income for Q3 was 45 cents a share.

(Also see: Head of Dell's mobile unit to quit; division will shut down)

Revenue for the period ending Oct. 31 was $15.4 billion, up 19 percent from last year. Analysts had expected adjusted income of 45 cents a share on revenue of $15.7 billion.

The revenue breakdown by division highlights why Dell has decided to close its consumer products division. Sales rose only 4 percent to $3 billion, while revenue for the company's enterprise division jumped 27 percent to $4.3 billion and sales for its public sector unit climbed 20 percent to $4.4 billion.

Dell shares pushed up to 14.62 in early after-hours trading before settling back to 14.28 by 6 p.m. The stock closed Thursday at 13.665, up 31.5 percent, or 2.4 percent, from Wednesday's close.

In a statement, company Chairman and CEO Michael Dell said, “Our strong results demonstrate that we are listening to customers and delivering what they want. It validates that our strategy to offer choice and efficiency at every level of the IT enterprise computing stack is taking hold, and we are more focused than ever to being a true partner – not merely a provider – to our customers.”

Chris Nerney writes about the business side of technology market strategies and trends, legal issues, leadership changes, mergers, venture capital, IPOs and technology stocks. Follow him on Twitter @ChrisNerney.

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