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EMC reports rise in sales, but posts $119m loss

EMC has reported a net loss of $119m (£74m) for 2002 and a fourth-quarter loss of $64m, although its earnings report showed vast improvement over last year's results, which included an annual loss of $508m.

Net income for the fourth quarter of 2002 - excluding an after-tax restructuring and special charge of $117m - was $53m, putting EMC back in the black for the first time in more than a year.

EMC had expected to post a loss this quarter but was optimistic over midrange arrays bringing in better-than-expected earnings. Its consolidated revenue for 2002 totaled $5.44bn, down from $7.09bn for its 2001 financial year.

Fourth-quarter revenue totalled $1.49bn, 18% higher than the $1.26bn reported for the same period last year. EMC said its sales were led by its best year for its Clariion arrays, which were recently upgraded with its new midrange Clariion CX family. Software sales grew 22% in the fourth quarter.

EMC president and chief executive officer Joe Tucci said: "We expect to gain market share in all of our strategic segments and grow profitably throughout 2003."

Yankee Group storage networking analyst Jamie Gruener offered reserved optimism about EMC's results.

"They really need to shift their focus away from selling hardware and then selling software to selling software first. They need to be known as the go-to company for storage management, and I don't think they're there yet. And the competition is just getting worse."

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