Dell reports 18 percent jump in revenue

Dell Computer Corp. reported an 18 percent jump in revenue for its first fiscal quarter, citing strong demand for its Intel Corp.-based servers and storage equipment.

Net earnings for the period, which ended May 2, reached US$598 million, or US$0.23 a share, in line with analyst expectations, according to Thomson First Call. The results compare with last year's net earnings of US$457 million, or US$0.17 per share.

Revenue came in at US$9.5 billion, up from US$8.1 billion a year earlier and in line with Wall Street forecasts.

Boasting of its "best-ever" first-quarter operating results, the Round Rock, Texas, computer maker cited growth and profitability in all regions and for all product lines and predicted that strong second-quarter growth would follow. It attributed the results to the popularity of standard Intel Corp.-based servers as a cheaper alternative to Unix systems from the likes of Sun Microsystems Inc. and IBM Corp.

"The words and actions of customers are clear. They're recognizing the performance and reliability of standards-based enterprise computing, and choosing such servers and storage products at an accelerating rate," Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Michael Dell said in a statement.

Worldwide product shipments grew 29 percent from a year earlier, the company said. Growth was particularly strong in Asia-Pacific and Japan, where sales climbed 40 percent to account for 11 percent of revenue, and in Europe, the Middle East and Africa, where sales grew 29 percent to make up 21 percent of total revenue.

Server shipments worldwide increased 40 percent, the company said, while revenue from external storage systems grew 65 percent.

For its fiscal second quarter Dell predicted a 15 percent hike in revenue from a year ago, to more than US$9.7 billion, and earnings per share of US$0.24, a jump of 26 percent. Both projections are in line with financial analyst forecasts.

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