Now this is more like it. Down nearly 29% year-to-date, Dell (UNKNOWN:UNKNOWN) and its shareholders have been battered for much of 2012. Not today, however. Dell shares opened well above the Nov. 30 closing price of $9.64 a share, adding to what is now a 13% jump the past month.

Unfortunately, it's too early for Dell shareholders to feel like they're out of the woods, but there are reasons for optimism. As I wrote in an article last week, Dell is making significant strides to grow revenue lines beyond the waning PC market. And, according to at least one analyst, Dell's efforts are finally being noticed.

The word
The good tidings for Dell shareholders this morning can be attributed to Goldman Sachs. The kind words from Goldman, and the subsequent target price and ratings upgrade, were music to Dell shareholders' ears.

In addition to bumping its rating from sell to buy (skipping hold altogether), Goldman noted Dell's strong $11.2 billion cash position, along with its continuing efforts to move beyond the struggling PC market. According to Goldman, Dell's expanding revenue opportunities could be the impetus for a change in investor sentiment in 2013, improving its positive risk/reward position. For a lot of us who've recognized Dell's efforts for some time, and its relative value, Goldman's analysis sounds awfully good.

Is Goldman's optimism warranted?
Dell closed two acquisitions recently, each demonstrating its objective of moving beyond PCs. The Quest Software deal added to Dell's software services product line, as did its purchase of enterprise provider Gale Technologies.

Dell's trailing P/E of 7 -- and that's after the share price jump the past month -- is about half that of Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) and IBM (NYSE:IBM), and they're undervalued. Dell's forward P/E of 6 is also well below the industry average, which also bodes well heading into the new year.

With Dell's increasingly diverse business offerings; including enterprise offerings, cloud computing, and software services, its quickly becoming a direct competitor of both Microsoft and IBM. Oracle's (NYSE:ORCL) ever-expanding cloud-related services, including its new CloudWorld solution, also places it directly in Dell's sights. Yeah, those are some serious neighborhood bullies to contend with, but CEO Michael Dell and the team aren't exactly rookies.

Limited downside risk, along with the new dividend Dell offered shareholders last quarter -- which currently sits at 3.1% -- should make the decision to add Dell to the growth and income portion of your portfolio even easier.

Fool contributor Tim Brugger has no positions in the stocks mentioned above. The Motley Fool owns shares of International Business Machines, Microsoft, and Oracle. Motley Fool newsletter services recommend Dell, Goldman Sachs Group, International Business Machines, and Microsoft. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.