EMC reports uptick in sales, but $119M yearly loss

EMC today reported a net loss of US$119 million for fiscal year 2002 and a fourth-quarter loss of $64 million. Still, the company's earnings report showed vast improvement over last year's results, which included an annual loss of $508 million.

Net income for the fourth quarter of 2002, excluding an after-tax restructuring and special charge of $117 million, was $53 million, putting EMC back in the black for the first time in more than a year.

Earlier this month, EMC had said it expected to post a loss this quarter but was optimistic over midrange arrays bringing in better than expected earnings. EMC said its consolidated revenue for 2002 totaled $5.44 billion, down from $7.09 billion for its 2001 fiscal year.

The data storage giant said its fourth-quarter revenue was $1.49 billion, 18 percent higher than the $1.26 billion it reported for the same period last year. EMC said its sales were led by the best year ever for its Clariion arrays, which were recently upgraded with its new midrange Clariion CX family. The company also said its software sales grew 22 percent in the fourth quarter and that it shipped more than a petabyte of its Centera array, a product aimed at storing fixed or unchanging data on Advanced Technology Attachment disks.

EMC President and CEO Joe Tucci said the company saw double-digit growth in each of its major businesses: hardware, software and services. "We expect to gain market share in all of our strategic segments and grow profitably throughout 2003," he said in a statement.

Jamie Gruener, a storage networking analyst at The Yankee Group in Boston, offered reserved optimism about EMC's results.

"I need to see more than one quarter of this kind of performance," Gruener said. "They really need to shift their focus away from selling hardware and then selling software to selling software first. They need to be known as the go-to company for storage management, and I don't think they're there yet. And the competition is just getting worse."

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