Net income nearly triples

SAN FRANCISCO — Dell Inc. said Tuesday that its net income for the latest quarter nearly tripled as the personal computer maker benefited from lower component costs and growth in some of its more profitable product lines.

For the three months that ended April 29, Dell earned $945 million, or 49 cents per share, compared with $341 million, or 17 cents per share, a year earlier.


Worried, but still earning

NEW YORK — Rising gasoline prices are adding another obstacle to Walmart Stores Inc.’s campaign to reverse a two-year U.S. sales slump.

Strong overseas revenue, growth at Sam’s Club, and Walmart’s specialty — cost-cutting — pushed net income up 3 percent in the first quarter at the world’s largest retailer, beating Wall Street expectations.

But business at home is still soft. Walmart offered a cautious second-quarter earnings outlook because it is worried that its low-income customers will spend less at its stores as gasoline hovers around $4 a gallon.

Walmart’s fears have deep repercussions, because it’s a bellwether of consumer spending and accounts for nearly 10 percent of all nonautomotive retail dollars spent in the U.S.

Walmart’s net income rose to $3.39 billion, or 97 cents per share, in the three months ended April 30. That compares with $3.3 billion, or 87 cents per share, a year earlier.


Extra costs cut into income

FRAMINGHAM, Mass. — Closing all of its A.J. Wright stores and reopening many as TJMaxx, Marshalls or HomeGoods stores pulled TJX Cos.’ net income down 20 percent in the first quarter.

But customer traffic improved overall as shoppers still sought bargains, the company said Tuesday.

TJX earned $266 million, or 67 cents per share, for the period that ended April 30. That’s down from $331.4 million, or 80 cents per share, a year earlier.


Forecast for year reduced

NEW YORK — Hewlett-Packard Co. is bracing for weaker financial results this year as it overhauls its services business to undo what its CEO described as years of neglect under his predecessor.

For too long, the business focused on short-term results rather than expanding into high-margin areas, such as helping businesses convert their systems to new technologies, CEO Leo Apotheker said Tuesday.

The company is now forecasting earnings, excluding one-time items, of $1.08 per share and revenue of $31.1 billion to $31.3 billion for the quarter that ends in July. Wall Street analysts were on average looking for earnings of $1.23 cents per share and $31.84 billion in revenue, according to FactSet.