By Maria Armental
Dell Technologies Inc. swung to a quarterly profit bolstered by a large tax benefit and record revenue at the division selling everything from laptops to computer workstations.
Dell on Thursday reported a profit of $3.63 billion, or $4.83 a share. On an adjusted basis, Dell said profit rose to $2.15 a share, beating analysts' projection of $1.50 a share, according to FactSet.
"We are in the early stages of a technology-led investment cycle," said Jeff Clarke, vice chairman at Dell. Orders during the quarter, excluding China, rose 4%, he said.
Dell's stock, which closed up 3% at $46.77, jumped over 9% in after-hours trading. Tech investors in recent weeks have become concerned about a slowdown in technology spending, but Dell's earnings signaled it was able to still grow earnings despite a difficult commercial environment.
Still, Mr. Clarke said sales in China, particularly of server equipment, would likely remain soft for the rest of the year.
Dell also is having to deal with dueling import tariffs imposed by the U.S. and China in recent months.
Mr. Clarke said the company "has successfully mitigated that cost impact" across the majority of its products, and where it hasn't, it has raised prices.
Personal-computer shipments across the industry rose in the April through June period, according to research firm Gartner Inc.
Dell, the No. 3 PC-maker, saw 2.1% higher year-over-year shipments in that period, Gartner said.
Dell's net revenue, factoring in accounting adjustments, rose 1% to $23.45 billion, ahead of analysts' projected $23.27 billion.
Revenue from its client-solutions group, which sells items such as PCs and notebooks, rose 6% to a record $11.75 billion, surpassing the $11.58 billion analysts projected. Growth was largely driven by sales of PCs, notebooks and workstations to companies with Dell reporting a 12% increase in sales to those commercial clients. Consumer sales remained weaker.
Dell returned to trading in the public markets in December, five years after founder Michael Dell and private-equity firm Silver Lake took it private.
The company's latest earnings are the first since VMware Inc., majority owned by Dell, and Pivotal Software Inc. reached a tentative merger agreement. Dell would hold a controlling stake in the combined company.
VMware contributed $2.47 billion in revenue in the second fiscal quarter, up 12% from the prior in the most recent quarter, Dell said.
Revenue from its infrastructure-solutions group, which includes data storage, networking equipment and servers sold mainly to companies, fell 7% and is expected to remain challenging, the company said.
Dell said sales in the group were dented by lower demand for servers that had seen significant growth last year. Weakness in China drove the decline. Mr. Clarke said that outside of China server orders rose slightly.
Within the infrastructure-solutions division, storage revenue was roughly flat at $4.18 billion.
Company officials said they are focusing on higher-margin server deals, which helped improve the segment's operating profit 4% in the quarter.
Write to Maria Armental at email@example.com