Internet Keeps EMC Ahead of the Pack

Enterprise storage provider EMC Corp. is a darling of Wall Street and will probably remain so as long as the online databases of high-growth Internet companies continue to expand.

The Hopkinton, Mass.-based firm, which will report earnings this Wednesday, should at least hit 31 cents per share for the fourth quarter of 1999, ended Dec. 31, according to analysts at Boston-based First Call/Thomson Financial But many analysts predict EMC will blow by that prediction and keep on going.

Analysts expect much of that growth to come from dot-coms and their high storage demands, according to analyst Shebly Seyrafi at St. Louis-based A. G.

Edwards & Sons Inc.

Internet companies don't have the luxury to wait for large amounts of storage, said Steve Duplessie, an analyst at Enterprise Storage Group Inc. in Milton, Mass. When they need it, they need it immediately, and among major storage vendors, only EMC can accommodate their astronomical growth, he said.

For example, it took 10 years for Citibank's total online storage to reach 75 terabytes (TB), compared with the 30 days it took to hit 30TB, Duplessie said.

Redwood City, Calif.-based Excite@ Home is an EMC customer, currently requiring 50TB of storage. John Prall, CIO at the media company, praises EMC's ability to deliver large amounts of storage quickly, as well as its expertise with complex installations andapplications.

Seyrafi rates EMC [NYSE:EMC] as a Strong Buy and says it's a "top pick" for investors based on its accelerating revenue, Internet presence, high gross margin, product execution and management team.

Competitors of EMC's Symmetrix Enterprise Storage System include Shark from IBM [NYSE:IBM] and the 7700E from Hewlett-Packard Co. [NYSE:HP] and Hitachi Data Systems. But these products haven't made a dent in EMC's growth, say analysts.

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