EMC Earns Double-Digit Profit for Q4 and 2012

Most of the last 10 years brought double-digit growth as the storage market flourished; some of the double digits have gone away, but EMC's profitability remains strong.

Storage and IT systems software provider EMC on Jan. 29 reported another highly profitable fourth quarter and fiscal year, bringing in record amounts for both periods.

EMC's fourth-quarter revenue totaled $6 billion, up 8 percent from the year-ago quarter. Net income in the latest quarter was $1.2 billion, an increase of 12 percent from the same period in 2011.

Full-year 2012 revenue was $21.7 billion, a gain of 9 percent from 2011. Net income for 2012 was $3.8 billion, an 11 percent increase from 2011.

Wall Street, which has been bashing IT companies lately, wasn't that impressed, however. EMC's stock was selling for $24.15 a share slightly before the closing bell, down 4.2 percent from the previous day's close.

Long String of Successful Quarters

EMC has enjoyed a string of highly profitable quarters for the last decade, ever since it bought VMware in 2003 and annexed companies such as RSA (security), Data Domain (new-generation intelligent storage), Avamar (deduplication) and numerous others in the last several years.

Most of those 10 years have seen double-digit revenue and profit as the storage market flourishes; some of the double digits have gone away, but the Hopkinton, Mass.-based company's profitability remains strong.

"EMC achieved its first $6 billion quarter for revenue, capping off a record-breaking 2012," President, CEO and Chairman Joe Tucci said on a conference call. "EMC remains squarely at the center of the most disruptive and opportunity-rich shift in IT history, propelled by the benefits of cloud computing, big data and trusted IT."

In the fourth quarter, revenue from EMC's networked storage platforms portfolio—which includes EMC's high-end and mid-tier storage platform products, grew 6 percent year-over-year. More specifically, revenue from EMC's recently reconditioned high-end Symmetrix storage product line increased 6 percent from the year-ago quarter.

Storage Still Leads All Divisions

EMC is morphing into an all-purpose IT hardware, software and service company, but storage hardware is still its main product. Revenue from EMC's mid-tier storage products catalog increased 5 percent year-over-year, led by continued revenue growth of EMC's Data Domain and Isilon scale-out network-attached storage (NAS) products.

The company also saw continued high demand for its NAND flash-based caching and storage software, Tucci said.

Additional fourth-quarter information in the report included year-over-year revenue growth for EMC's Greenplum analytics product list. VMware, by far the world's largest virtualization software provider, grew revenue 22 percent year-over-year.

EMC's VSPEX reference architecture packages continued to gain momentum among customers and partners, who have sold more than 1,300 VSPEX systems since their launch in April 2012.

VCE, a separate company spun off by EMC, Cisco Systems and VMware, makes converged cloud infrastructure systems that are gaining traction as demand for Vblock systems continues, Tucci said.

Chris Preimesberger

Chris J. Preimesberger

Chris J. Preimesberger is Editor-in-Chief of eWEEK and responsible for all the publication's coverage. In his 13 years and more than 4,000 articles at eWEEK, he has distinguished himself in reporting...