Dell Boosts Revenue Guidance

Updated from April 7

PC behemoth Dell ( DELL) boosted first-quarter revenue guidance, adding its lustrous name to the parade of hot tech companies posting stellar earnings news Wednesday.

The Austin, Texas, company said after the market closed that it expected first-quarter revenue to hit $11.4 billion, up from the $11.2 billion target the company set in February. Analysts polled by Thomson First Call had forecast first-quarter revenue of $11.24 billion, up from $9.5 billion a year earlier.

The shares were higher in Thursday's premarket session, recently adding 93 cents, or 2.7%, to $35.75.

The news comes as Dell prepares for its Thursday morning analyst meeting. In its postclose press release Wednesday, Dell maintained its first-quarter earnings target of 28 cents a share, up 22% year over year. The company cited strong growth in international markets for the revision.

"Customers around the world want powerful, reliable technology at great prices," said President Kevin Rollins, who has been tapped to take over for founder Michael Dell as CEO. "That's true in markets like China and Japan and France, and in the U.S., England and Canada, and why we're seeing rapid, profitable growth."

Dell said its fastest growth has been in servers, storage systems, professional services and, more recently, its printing and imaging business.

The company also said it would step up its stock buyback efforts. Dell now expects to spend about $1.1 billion over the course of the first quarter, up from a planned $600 million.

Rollins' glowing comments came on the heels of upside earnings surprises and stock-split declarations from tech favorites Yahoo! ( YHOO) and Research in Motion ( RIMM).

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