EMC heralds uptick in earnings

EMC has announced better-than-expected preliminary earnings for its fourth quarter -- good news it credited to an uptick in customer spending, particularly in the area of midrange storage arrays.

EMC said its fourth-quarter revenue will be at least US$1.47 billion, exceeding the company's prior guidance of $1.26 billion. Revenue for the fourth quarter last year was $1.51 billion.

Joe Tucci, president and CEO of the Hopkinton, Mass.-based company, said "demand was particularly strong for our newly introduced CX family of Clariion storage platforms."

EMC said it will still be reporting a loss when it releases Jan. 23 its complete results for the fourth quarter, its sixth straight quarterly loss. That loss reflects a $160 million restructuring charge related to job cuts it announced last year.

Clinton Vaughan, an analyst at Salomon Smith Barney Holdings Inc. in New York, described EMC's news as "surprisingly strong" in a research note today. Vaughan said the sales could be attributed both to direct channels and a partnership agreement signed with Dell Computer Corp. in March 2002.

"We would believe these results support our thesis that EMC is on the road to recovery," Vaughan said.

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