Dell boosted by upgrades

COMPUTER-MAKER Dell’s quarterly earnings and margins blew past Wall Street’s expectations last night as component costs fell and businesses replaced their older IT systems, propelling its shares six per cent higher.

Dell’s forecast for a five to nine per cent rise in current fiscal-year revenue also surpassed US forecasts.

However, some analysts questioned whether its gross margin of 21.5 per cent – about 15 per cent above the average forecast – was sustainable given a big boost from the falling prices of memory chips and other production costs.

The firm reported a net profit of $927m (£574.6m), or 48 cents a share, in the three months to the end of January, up from $334m a year ago.

Revenue climbed 5.3 per cent to $15.69bn.

Dell is currently pushing to diversify its revenue base and move away from low-margin PCs in favour of data storage and mobile devices.