Lenovo, the world’s biggest maker of personal computers, reported first-quarter profit that beat analyst estimates after increasing its global market share for tablet computers, smartphones and PCs.

“We are transforming our company into a ‘PC Plus company’ at full speed,” Chairman and CEO Yang Yuanqing declared in a conference call.

Net income climbed 23 percent to $173.9 million in the three months ended June from $141.4 million a year earlier, Lenovo said in a statement today. That exceeded the $167 million average of 10 analysts’ estimates compiled by Bloomberg. The stock rose the most in a month.

Yuanqing also  is seeking acquisitions as he weathers a global slump in PC demand by developing mobile devices to lure customers from Apple Inc. and Samsung Electronics Co. Lenovo posted the narrowest decline in shipments among the top five vendors last quarter, helping it supplant Hewlett-Packard Co. as the largest maker in the period, research firm Gartner said last month.

“In a tough PC market, Lenovo became the clear #1 for the first time and continues to improve profitability. Our strong performance in PC is fueled by balanced growth, through our consistent execution of the right strategy,” Yuanqing said.

“While driving profitable growth in our core PC business, we are rapidly transforming our company into a PC Plus company. The PC Plus market requires fast, efficient innovation as it moves quickly from premium products to mainstream ones and from mature market domination to emerging market hyper growth. This kind of market plays to Lenovo’s proven strengths. Lenovo is now better positioned than our competition to take advantage of these clear trends. ”

Lenovo operates its executive headquarters in Morrisville and also maintains a headquarters in Beijing.

One analyst concurs.

“The company is transforming itself from PC-based to smartphone- and tablet-based,” said Ricky Lai, an analyst at Guotai Junan International Holdings Ltd. in Hong Kong. “There is robust demand for tablets and smartphones especially in China and emerging economies.”

Revenue rose 9.7 percent to $8.79 billion. That compares with the $8.49 billion average of 16 estimates compiled by Bloomberg.

Lenovo, which has its headquarters in Beijing and Morrisville, North Carolina, surged 2.9 percent to HK$7.78 at 10:13 a.m. in Hong Kong, the biggest gain since July 11. The stock has climbed 11 percent this year while the city’s Hang Seng Index is little changed.

Industry Slump

The company will be “proactive” in seeking acquisitions in computers and smartphones, Yang said in an interview today without citing specific deals. Yang declined to comment on any potential interest in parts of BlackBerry Ltd. and International Business Machines Corp.

Lenovo considered targets and alliances, including a deal with BlackBerry, Chief Financial Officer Wong Wai Ming said in January. Talks to buy parts of IBM’s server division broke down after the two sides couldn’t agree on a price, a person familiar with the discussions said in May.

During the June quarter, industrywide personal-computer shipments dropped for a fifth straight quarter, the longest losing streak on record, as consumers continued to favor touch- screen tablets and smartphones.

Record Smartphones

Lenovo’s PC unit sales fell 0.6 percent, giving it a market share of 16.7 percent, compared with HP’s 16.3 percent of the market after a 4.8 percent drop in shipments, according to Gartner. Lenovo and HP have been trading the top spot since last year.

Smartphone shipments by Lenovo more than doubled from a year earlier to a record 11.4 million units, the company said today.

“This was driven by strong smartphone demand in China and expansion into more countries outside of China,” it said.

Lenovo, which released its flagship K900 handset in May, ranked fourth in global smartphone shipments during the quarter, accounting for 4.7 percent of the market, researcher International Data Corp. reported last month. The company’s tablet shipments more than quadrupled in the period to rank fourth, with a 3.3 percent share of the total, IDC said.

[LENOVO ARCHIVE: Check out eight years of Lenovo stories as reported in WRALTechWire.]