Del;It seems like ages since the catchphrase “Dude, you’re getting a Dell!” and news of the Round Rock, Texas-based company graced our ears.  With its increased earnings, however, it may very well be that Dell is on its way to stepping into the spotlight once again.

According to Bloomberg, Dell Inc. shares jumped in late trading during the fourth quarter.  Their shares reportedly increased 8.6% to $15.10 while their stocks rose 2.7% to $13.91.  Global PC shipments also increased last quarter, rising 3.1%.  Additionally, Dell enjoyed a near tripling of its net income to $927 million, up from $334 million a year earlier.

Dell has also profited from its relationships with businesses, as many corporations are upgrading to Windows 7 and upgrading their systems as well.  Though businesses have been making purchases, consumers are still hesitant about buying new laptops and desktops because of the economic slump.  According to The New York Times, consumer sales fell 8% in the fourth quarter to $3.3 billion compared to the same period a year earlier.

Dell is ranked as the third largest computer maker, placed just behind HP and Acer Inc.  In previous years, HP proved itself to be one of Dell’s biggest competitors.  However, under founder and CEO Michael Dell, the company has chosen to diversify its offerings rather than aiming to dethrone HP.  The company has recently made acquisitions allowing it to offer a broader range of storage, software, security, and services, which have a higher profit margin than that of PCs.

Aside from expanding its offerings, Dell has also seen opportunities in cloud computing and tablets.  Bloomberg reports that the tablets will be released later this year with Windows and Android Honeycomb operating systems.