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EMC earnings trump Street

The Fortune 500 firm reports fourth-quarter earnings that surpass Wall Street expectations because of a surging demand for the company's products and services.

EMC, a Fortune 500 firm providing enterprise storage systems software, today reported fourth-quarter earnings that surpassed Wall Street expectations because of a surging demand for the company's products and services, helping the firm register its most successful quarter in its 20-year history.

The company posted revenue for the fourth quarter of a record $1.19 billion, 36 percent higher than the year-ago quarter. Net income also hit a record high, reaching $256 million, a 54 percent increase compared to the same quarter of 1997. EMC posted earnings of 48 cents per share on a diluted basis, beating a consensus of analysts polled by First Call who expected the company to make 46 cents per share.

"Our fourth quarter results demonstrate the power of focus and execution in delivering technology that is changing the way the world manages information," EMC chief executive Michael Ruettgers said in a statement. "This was our seventh consecutive quarter with both revenue and net income growth in excess of 30 percent on a year-to-year basis.

"The growth of our software revenue solidifies EMC's stature as the world's fastest-growing major software provider," he added.

Revenue from its portfolio of enterprise storage software reached $164 million in the fourth quarter, up 175 percent from the year-ago quarter.

Revenue from storage systems with Fibre Channel connectivity grew 192 percent to $286 million in the fourth quarter.

The company, a component of the S&P 500 Index, said it believes that its EMC Enterprise Storage Network is an area that will fuel the next major wave of its growth.

"Eight of the ten largest Internet Service Providers have deployed EMC Enterprise Storage, as our role in building and managing the Internet's infrastructure continues to grow," said Ruettgers.

Shares of EMC closed at 102 yesterday, and have traded as high as 107.13 and as low as 26.81 during the past 52 weeks.