It's hard to call Dell(Nasdaq: DELL) a diamond in the rough. Everyone knows about the computer maker and Michael Dell's ambitious history. But it seems the company continues to make all the right moves in a wronged sector. While the personal computer industry is flailing away in quicksand, Dell has been eating up market share and propping up profits.

With fourth-quarter earnings climbing from $0.17 to $0.23 a share and the company confident that unit shipments will grow at a 25% clip in the current quarter, it makes one wonder if Dell is even in the same league as its troubled rivals.

While Hewlett-Packard(NYSE: HPQ) tries to maintain its market lead, every time it burps it smells like rotting Compaq. Apple(Nasdaq: AAPL) is selling pretty machines that few can afford, though it may mean business now that price cuts and performance enhancements announced earlier this month should help move systems. Gateway's(NYSE: GTW) mounting cow-patched losses is the latest punch line to the classic riddle of "What is black and white and red all over?"

Sure, the Dell dude got arrested last Sunday, but Dell itself is the one getting away with the ultimate crime of stealing market share. With ease, the company has also expanded into new product lines such as servers, laptops, and eventually printers.

Margins continue to fatten as the 32% in profit growth outpaced the 21% spike in revenue. Sales totaled $9.7 billion in sales for the quarter. Make no mistake about the fact that Dell can't continue to grow in perpetuity if the sector doesn't bounce back. You can continue to carve bigger slices of a shrinking pie until you've eventually consumed the whole pie. Then what? Dell would be the first to welcome a healthy revival among the box makers. But it feels good for now. Michael Dell knows better than to spring a Valentine's Day massacre on shareholders.