Despite the nosedive in the overall U.S. economy during the last month of the quarter, data storage giant EMC posted yet another exemplary financial report Oct. 22, recording its 21st consecutive quarter of double-digit, year-over-year revenue growth.
The company did advise, however, that it does believe overall IT spending will slow down during the next 12 to 18 months and that it expects its profit margins to narrow.
EMC's total consolidated revenue for the third quarter of 2008 was $3.7 billion, an increase of 13 percent over the $3.3 billion reported for the third quarter of 2007.
Third-quarter GAAP net income was $411 million. Third-quarter non-GAAP net income was $528 million, or $0.25 per diluted share, 14 percent higher than a year ago.
EMC's profit was 17 percent below year-ago earnings of $492.9 million, or 23 cents per share. However, last year's figures were boosted by EMC's one-time sale of 6 million shares -- about 5 percent of the 89 percent it owned-- in virtualization software vendor VMware to Cisco Systems.
"We're all going through a little tough patch right now, but we're certainly hoping that things won't get too, too terrible," EMC Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer David Goulden told a conference call of journalists and analysts.
"We are fortunate that we're in a business where there are quick ROIs, and surveys show that even in tough times, our customers know that these are areas in which they need to spend," EMC President/CEO and Chairman Joe Tucci said during the same call.
Even in the current volatile U.S. macroeconomy, EMC's prospects remain solid-at least for the short term and likely for the longer term. Analysts report that the volume of personal and business data continues to rocket skyward at 60 to 70 percent growth per year, with little or no chance of a slowdown; all that information has to be stored somewhere, and EMC is the world leader in storing it in external disk drives.