Updated from May 12
matched its first-quarter financial goals and forecasted earnings for the second quarter in line with Wall Street targets.
Shares jumped $1.50, or 4.1%, to $38.11 in early trading Friday. The stock is still off a four-and-a-half-year peak of $42 logged in December, but the buying spree that began after-hours Thursday lifted it to a one-month high.
Round Rock, Texas-based Dell highlighted its international growth and its sales of storage and mobile products as key drivers for the quarter.
"We're still confident that the market is healthy," said Dell CEO Kevin Rollins during a conference call. "It's not explosive and it's not trailing off."
Rollins said April was the strongest month of the quarter, but that was expected and trying to extrapolate beyond isn't necessarily wise. "That is one data point and we don't take one data point up or down as an indicator. It's something that was anticipated."
The company reported earnings of $934 million, or 37 cents a share, on sales of $13.4 billion. During the same quarter last year, Dell earned $731 million, or 28 cents a share, on sales of $11.5 billion.
Analysts had expected earnings of 37 cents a share on sales of $13.4 billion, on average, according to Thomson First Call.
Dell announced in early April that it expected first-quarter earnings of 37 cents a share and sales of $13.4 billion -- consistent with the targets issued at the quarter's start -- on sequential shipment growth of 21%.
Gross margin was 18.6% compared with 18.5% in the previous quarter and 18% in the first quarter last year. Dell's net income was helped by a reduced tax rate of 24%, down from 46% in the previous quarter and 28% in the first quarter last year.
Actual shipment growth was 20%, but Rollins tried to de-emphasize the shipment figure because "so many of our products are not unit-based," he said, citing storage, software and PC peripherals as examples.
For the second quarter, Dell expects earnings of 37 cents to 39 cents a share and sales between $13.6 billion and $13.8 billion. Analysts had expected earnings of 38 cents a share on sales of $13.6 billion. Dell said it would now provide a range for its financial guidance as it tries to be opportunistic about quickly chasing down new revenue.
By product line, sales of desktop PCs advanced 6% to $5.3 billion from the same quarter last year, mobile sales rose 22% to $3.3 billion, servers rose 12% to $1.3 billion, storage rose 49% to $400,000, enhanced services rose 30% to $1.1 billion and software and peripherals rose 29% to $2 billion.