Dell shares hit record high after report, forecasts impress with AI in mix

The logo for Dell Technologies Inc. is displayed on a screen on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange in New York

(Reuters) - Shares in Dell Technologies Inc rose 22.2% and hit a record high on Friday after it raised full-year financial forecasts with boosts from artificial intelligence (AI) and stabilizing demand for computer hardware after a months-long slump.

The stock last traded at $68.75 after hitting a peak of $70.28 while trading volume was 5.4 times its 10-day moving average. Dell, on track for its biggest ever daily percentage gain, is up more than 70% for the year-to-date.

"Results and guidance corroborated the improving order trends in the broader enterprise vertical" said JPMorgan analyst Samik Chatterjee, in a research note.

Dell added to evidence of this trend from CDW Group, Cisco Systems and Hewlett Packard Enterprises, according to the analyst.

Dell reported second quarter revenue and EPS above analyst estimates. Servers and networking revenue rose 11% from the first quarter to $4.27 billion, driven by higher demand for AI-optimized servers, Dell said.

While JPMorgan's Chatterjee does not see AI as a primary driver the analyst wrote that "it is helping in the visibility of a recovery with Dell highlighting that 20% of AI orders (in revenues) were for AI-based servers."

At least 10 analysts raised their target prices for Dell's shares after the report with several including Credit Suisse and Evercore ISI citing its position to benefit from AI.

The median price target increased to $68 on Friday from $56 on Aug. 1, Refinitiv data showed.

Included in the more bullish views was Wells Fargo's increase of the target to $75 from $65 and Citigroup's increase to $70 from $60. JPMorgan raised its target to $68 from $61.

(Reporting By Sinéad Carew; editing by Lance Tupper)