Dell posts surprise revenue rise on booming demand for remote-work tools

FILE PHOTO: The logo for Dell Technologies Inc. is displayed on a screen on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York, U.S., January 10, 2019. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid

(Reuters) – Dell Technologies Inc reported a surprise rise in third-quarter revenue on Tuesday, driven by buoyant demand for its desktops and notebooks from remote workers and learners during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The PC maker’s shares were last up marginally in volatile after-market trading, as adjusted earnings matched Wall Street expectation of $2.03 per share.

Consumers and businesses are spending on notebooks at a rate Dell has not seen in over a decade, according to an earnings presentation, helping its client solutions group rake in a record $12.29 billion in revenue, up about 8% from a year earlier.

Global shipments in the traditional PC market, which includes desktops, notebooks, and workstations, jumped 14.6% year-over-year to 81.3 million units in the third quarter of 2020, according to data from IDC.

While the health crisis lifted demand for Dell’s remote workstation products, the company’s data center business remained under pressure.

Revenue from its data center business fell about 4% to $8.02 billion in the quarter.

Sales at VMware Inc rose about 8% to $2.89 billion. Dell plans to spin off its 81% stake in the software unit to help reduce debt.

Total revenue rose nearly 3% to $23.48 billion in the three months ended Oct. 30, while analysts had estimated a drop of 4.4% to $21.85 billion, according to IBES data from Refinitiv.

Net income attributable to the company rose to $832 million, from $499 million a year earlier.

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