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Dell Gets It Done

The PC maker's stock shoots higher after CEO Michael Dell leads the company to a first-quarter earnings beat.

Updated from 4:25 p.m. EDT

Dell

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grew its sales 9% in its fiscal first quarter, solidly beating Wall Street expectations on the top and bottom lines.

The Round Rock, Texas, PC maker reported a solid performance in notebook PCs and overseas sales -- two of the company's traditional weak spots.

Notebook unit shipments were up 43% year-over-year, with revenue up 22%.

And sales outside the U.S. accounted for the majority of Dell's revenue for the first time ever.

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The results represent early signs of progress, said CEO Michael Dell in a statement.

"We expect to continue growing faster than the industry and increase our revenue, profitability and cash flow for great shareholder value," said Dell, who returned to the CEO role last year with the goal of turning around the company he founded.

Overall, Dell had revenue of $16 billion for the three months ended May 2, above the average analyst expectation of $15.68 billion. At this time last year, Dell had sales of $14.6 billion.

Dell earned $784 million in net income, or 38 cents a share - four cents higher than the average analyst expectation. At this time last year, Dell earned $756 million, or 34 cents a share.

The PC maker reduced its operating expenses nearly 7% sequentially, pushing the company's operating margin to 5.6%, vs. 5.4% in the fourth quarter. Dell said it reduced its headcount by 3,700 workers in the first quarter. While the company has added employees through acquisitions, it said net headcount was down 5%.

In keeping with its recent custom, Dell did not provide financial guidance for the current quarter.

The company said it will continue to incur costs as it realigns it business, and that it expects conservative spending by corporations, particularly in the U.S., to continue through the summer.

Shares of Dell jumped more than 7% in recent after-hours trading to $23.45