Dell Inc posted much better-than-expected profit and margins, as large and small businesses continued to spend on new technology hardware.

The No. 2 personal computer maker reported a net profit of $927 million, or 48 cents a share, in the fiscal fourth quarter ended January 28, up from $334 million, or 17 cents a share, in the year-ago period.

Excluding items, Dell earned 53 cents a share, beating the average analyst estimate of 37 cents a share, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Revenue rose 5 percent to $15.7 billion, matching Wall Street's target

Non-GAAP gross margin came in at 21.5 percent, well ahead of analysts' estimate of 18.6 percent.

For fiscal 2012, Dell expects revenue growth of 5 to 9 percent, and non-GAAP operating income growth of 6 to 12 percent.

Shares of Round Rock, Texas-based Dell closed down 1.3 percent at $13.91 on Nasdaq and were halted in after-hours trading.

(Reporting by Gabriel Madway; Editing by Richard Chang)