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Dell Earnings Jump 58 Percent

Dell Computer reported a 58 percent leap in second-quarter earnings Tuesday as a surge in purchases over the Internet helped the high-tech bellwether cruise past Wall Street's earnings expectations by 2 cents.

After the market closed, the Round Rock, Texas-based company (DELL) posted net income of $507 million, or 19 cents a share. Analysts surveyed by First Call Corp. were expecting the PC maker to post a profit of 17 cents a share.

That also dwarfed its year-ago performance in which Dell earned $346 million, or 12 cents a share.

Revenue for the second quarter hit $6.1 billion, up 42 percent from $4.3 last year. Most analysts were expecting revenue between $5.9 billion and $6 billion.

"We are now the largest direct company within the worldwide home and small-business market, and are significantly more profitable in that space than our nearest direct competitor," said CEO Michael Dell in a statement.

He added that the Internet is central to extending the competitive advantages of Dell's direct business model.

In the last month of the quarter, Net sales to Dell customers reached $30 million per day, making up nearly 40 percent of company revenue and $11 billion annualized run rate, the company said.

Additionally, Dell said second-quarter revenue from network servers, workstations and storage products increased 85 percent from the year ago period.

Dell also reported growth in unit shipments. The company said shipments increased 55 percent, two times analyst estimates of total industry growth.

Ahead of the report, Dell shares fell 5/16 to 41 1/8.

Written By Cecily Fraser, CBS MarketWatch

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