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Earnings surprise, Sun deal lift StorageNetworks shares

Shares in the data storage services provider move up 6 percent after it tops estimates in its fourth quarter and announced a marketing alliance with Sun Microsystems and Exodus.

    Shares in data storage services provider StorageNetworks moved up 6 percent Thursday after it topped estimates in its fourth quarter and announced a marketing alliance with Sun Microsystems and Exodus.

    Shares closed regular trading up $1.69 at $29.63, after going as high as $31.31 earlier Thursday.

    In the quarter, StorageNetworks posted a loss of $36 million, or 36 cents a share, on sales of $21.2 million.

    Analysts polled by First Call pegged the computer data services company for a loss of 44 cents a share on sales of $19.2 million in the quarter.

    The $21.2 million in sales marks a 578 percent jump from the year-ago quarter, when it lost $14 million, or 59 cents a share, on sales of $3.1 million.

    On Thursday, the company announced that it will team up with Sun and Web site hosting and management company Exodus to co-market managed storage services hosted on Exodus Internet data centers.

    The data centers will be powered by StorageNetworks based on Sun technology, servers and software and will provide complete storage services to customers.

    For the fiscal year, StorageNetworks lost $124.9 million, or $2.12 a share, on sales of $48.2 million, compared with a loss of $23.9 million, or 98 cents a share, on sales of $6.3 million in fiscal 1999.

    Last quarter, the company topped analysts' estimates when it posted a loss of 37 cents a share on sales of $14.3 million.

    StorageNetworks shares moved up to an all-time high of $154.25 in July before crashing to a low of $16.50 earlier this month.

    Ten of the 12 analysts following the stock maintain either a "buy" or "strong buy" recommendation.