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Network Appliance tops estimates in second quarter

Network Appliance hurdled analysts' estimates in its second quarter Tuesday, earning $36.6 million, or 10 cents a share, on sales of $260.8 million.

First Call Corp. consensus expected the computer network storage maker to earn 9 cents a share.

Network Appliance (Nasdaq: NTAP) shares closed up $11.75, or 14 percent, to $96.25 ahead of the earnings report.

The $260.8 million in sales marks a 109 percent improvement from the year-ago quarter when it raked in $16.1 million, or 5 cents a share, on sales of $124.7 million.

"Overall demand for Network Appliance products continued to grow during the quarter," said CEO Dan Warmenhoven in a prepared release. "We delivered new hardware and software essential to our market strategy of becoming the leading provider of scalable, end-to-end storage networking and content delivery platforms for Fortune 2000 businesses."

Network Appliance also announced that it has completed its $75 million acquisition of WebManage Technologies, a developer of content distribution and analysis software.

Last quarter, Network Appliance beat the Street when it earned $32.3 million, or 9 cents a share, on sales of $231.2 million.

Its shares moved as high as $152.75 in October after falling to a 52-week low of $22.38 last November.

All 22 analysts following the stock maintain either a "buy" or "strong buy" recommendation.

First Call Corp. consensus expects it to earn 40 cents a share in the fiscal year.