EMC Books $5.1B in Revenues in Strong Q1

By Pedro Hernandez

EMC today announced that it had booked $5.1 billion in revenues in the first quarter, an 11 percent increase compared to the same period a year ago (1Q11). The company's bread-and-butter information storage business was responsible for $3.7 billion of that haul, a 7 percent increase over 1Q11.

For 2012, EMC expects consolidated revenues "to meet and potentially exceed $22 billion," besting the $20 billion in revenues the company generated in 2011.

GAAP net income rose to $587 million, a 23 percent bump over the same period last year. On a non-GAAP basis, net income rose 17 percent over the same year-ago period to reach $818 million. GAAP earnings per share (EPS) rose 29 percent over 1Q11 to $0.27; non-GAAP EPS was up 19 percent, or $0.37. The results skirted close to Wall Street expectations of $5.12 billion in revenues and $0.36 a share.

EMC's mid-tier storage portfolio was a bright spot, experiencing a 26 percent increase in revenue over 1Q11. There was some softness in high-end storage; the category saw a 10 percent drop in revenues compared to last year. In an investor call this morning, David Goulden, EMC's CFO, attributed the decrease to an "usually strong first quarter in 2011" that was fueled by brisk FAST VP and Symmetrix VMAX adoption. The company hinted it plans to reverse the slide with Symmetrix announcements "coming soon."

In 1Q12, VMware's revenues crossed the billion-dollar mark, reaching $1.05 billion, a 25 percent improvement over 1Q11. RSA, EMC's information security division, earned $207 million in revenue last quarter, an increase of 19 percent versus 1Q11.

Flash, Big Data Lends Some Spark

Goulden credited VFCache for giving its enterprise flash slate some market momentum. While early days still -- VFCache launched in Feburary -- the PCIe server caching card's reception is giving EMC high hopes for Project Thunder, a dedicated flash-based appliance not unlike the all-SSD arrays from Violin Memory. EMC is on course for an early Project Thunder customer beta in the current quarter.

On the Big Data front, Gould says acquisitions like Greenplum are helping his company derive strong revenues from this hot market and are enabling EMC to capture Big Data mind share. "As a result, we're now seeing multi-million dollar transactions as more and more enterprises select Greenplum technologies as the foundation for their next-gen analytics architectures," said Gould.

Both Goulden and EMC's CEO, Joe Tucci, attributed the strong results to a product portfolio that's aligned with high-growth areas in enterprise IT. They are, according to the executives, "cloud computing, Big Data and trust" -- a trio that emerged as a mantra-like theme during the call.

EMC plans to keep the momentum going with a products-focused approach, says Tucci. Expect more acquisitions, too.

"Our recipe to produce these innovative products calls for us to invest over 11 percent of revenues into organic R&D. And in addition, to acquire smaller, best of breed technology companies to enhance and extend our cloud, Big Data, and trust strategy and reach," he said.

Other highlights:

  • Isilon NAS nearly doubled its revenue year over year
  • Revenues from the United States were $2.6 billion, an improvement of 11 percent over 1Q11 and constituting 52 percent of consolidated 1Q revenues
  • Record revenues in Asia Pacific and Japan, with 20% year over year growth
  • Operating cash flow of $1.7 billion and free cash flow of $1.4 billion, increases of 49 percent and 67 percent year over year, respectively
  • EMC spent $40 million on VMware (VMW) shares in 1Q12

Pedro Hernandez is a contributing editor at InternetNews.com, the news service of the IT Business Edge Network, the network for technology professionals. Follow him on Twitter @ecoINSITE.

This article was originally published on April 19, 2012