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NetApp Finally Busts Out Guidance

NEW YORK ( TheStreet -- NetApp (NTAP - Get Report) bust out its first guidance for nine months during its analyst day Thursday, signaling a much-improved IT spending environment.

With its bullish second- and third-quarter forecast, NetApp is clearly confident of its ability to increase the pressure on rivals such as EMC (EMC - Get Report) and Hewlett-Packard (HPQ - Get Report).

"Yes, we're back in the guidance business," explained NetApp CFO Steve Gomo during a presentation at the New York event. "We want to take share, and if we take share we will be growing at a pretty good clip."

For the second quarter of fiscal 2010, Gomo forecast revenue between $887 million and $885 million, up from $838 million in the prior quarter, and well above analysts' estimate of $862.05 million.

NetApp expects to earn between 29 cents a share and 30 cents a share during the quarter, compared to Wall Street's estimate of 29 cents.

Gomo also issued third-quarter guidance, forecasting sales between $910 million and $930 million. Analysts surveyed by Thomson Reuters had expected revenue of $893.98 billion.

Third-quarter earnings are expected to be between 35 cents a share and 36 cents a share, above analysts' estimate of 33 cents a shares.

NetApp will also achieve its goal of a 16% operating margin during the third quarter, according to the CFO.

The numbers has an immediate impact on NetApp's shares, which quickly gained $1.18, or 4.46%, to reach $27.62, outpacing the modest rally in tech stocks that saw the Nasdaq gain 1.22%.

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