Dell triples income in fourth quarter results

Dell has impressed investors with its fourth quarter earnings, showing net income almost tripling compared to the same period last year thanks largely to a resurgence in corporate spending.

While Dell's figures showed that the consumer markets are still sluggish, a rise in corporate spending as companies bolster their server farms and upgrade ageing desktops saw the company's net income hit $927 million for the quarter - a huge boost from the $334 million achieved in the same period last year.

The largest growth areas for the box shifter proved to be large-scale enterprise and small-to-medium business provision, which saw revenue grow 12 per cent each. A further four per cent growth was seen in revenue from public-sector clients.

Sadly, the news isn't quite so good in the consumer sector: a spike in sales the year prior thanks to the launch of Windows 7 wasn't replicated in Dell's most recent results, resulting in a disappointing eight per cent drop in revenue.

Despite this, investors seem pleased with Dell's jump in income and the company's gross margin hit 21 per cent in the most recent figures. In after-hours trading, Dell's shares jumped 5.8 per cent on the news - a welcome boost, following a small drop in regular trading.

With the company having announced a new tablet device, the Dell Streak 7, at this year's Consumer Electronics Show in January, 2011 could prove to be the year that consumer spending gets back on track - and helps to boost Dell's coffers still further.