NEW YORK: Better cost controls at Dell Technologies Inc helped the laptop maker beat estimates for first-quarter profit and revenue on Thursday (June 1), a positive sign for personal computer makers that have grappled with cratering demand for over a year.

Shares of the company shot up 5%. The stock was halted after the company announced results during regular trading hours, earlier than its schedule for an after-market release.

Dell’s results offer some relief to the industry after weak earnings from rivals HP Inc and Lenovo Group fanned worries that a recovery in the PC market was still far away.

“We maintained pricing discipline, reduced operating expenses, and our supply chain continued to perform well after normalising ahead of competitors,“ said Chuck Whitten, co-chief operating officer of Dell.

First-quarter revenue fell 20% to US$20.92 billion (RM96.55 billion), compared with analysts' expectations of US$20.27 billion, according to Refinitiv data.

Total operating expenses reduced 6% to US$3.57 billion during the quarter.

Demand for desktops and laptops slumped after a pandemic-driven rush for work-from-home equipment, leading to a pile-up in inventory amid an uncertain economic outlook.

Dell's client solutions unit – home to its consumer and enterprise PC business – posted a 23% fall in sales, while the infrastructure solutions unit, which includes servers, storage devices and networking hardware, saw an 18% decline.

Excluding items, Dell earned US$1.31 per share, compared with estimates of 86 cents per share. – Reuters