EMC's Q4 Loss Beats Street - EnterpriseStorageForum.com

EMC's Q4 Loss Beats Street

Data storage leader EMC posted narrower fourth-quarter losses, the result of aggressive cost-cutting measures and a sales approach that acknowledges leaner IT budgets.

The Hopkinton, Mass., firm posted a net loss of $70 million, or 3 cents a diluted share, compared with net income of $562.8 million, or 25 cents a diluted share, in the year-ago quarter.

Analysts expected a loss of 4 cents to 10 cents a share, with a consensus loss estimate of 7 cents a share, according to Thomson Financial/First Call. While improved, it marks the once bulletproof company's second consecutive quarterly loss, unprecedented in the last dozen years.

Fourth quarter revenue was $1.51 billion, 25 percent gain over the $1.21 billion in the previous quarter. All segments showed improvement, with storage area networks leading the way.

"It's great to finish the year with momentum," said EMC CEO Joe Tucci said. "Last year was painful for the entire technology sector, and it forced EMC to become a better company in many respects."

EMC described the company's actions in the fourth quarter as a "three-pronged attack" that included cutting 4,000 workers, impressed upon the sales force to pushes lower-end storage systems and lowering inventories.

"We reduced costs ahead of our own schedule, improved margins and achieved higher customer satisfaction levels," said Bill Teuber, EMC's CFO. "Our cash and investments increased to $5.1 billion at the end of the year, now representing more than 50 percent of total assets, with virtually no debt."

Shares of EMC jumped 1.7, or 12 percent, to 16.26 in morning trading. In the last 52 weeks, the issue has ranged from 10.01 to 82.

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