EMC's

(EMC)

ferocious cost cutting binge of the last two years paid off in a profit in the first quarter.

The Hopkinton, Mass.,-based storage giant said it earned $35 million, or 2 cents a share, for the first quarter, compared with a loss of $77 million, or 3 cents a share, last year. The result matched expectations. Revenue was $1.38 billion, up from $1.3 billion a year earlier.

The company predicted second-quarter earnings of 3 cents a share, a penny higher than Wall Street estimates.

"Over the past seven quarters, we have reduced our revenue break-even point by more than $2 billion on an annualized basis," EMC noted. "During the first quarter, our continued attack on costs and improved margins enabled us to reach our targeted break-even level a full quarter ahead of schedule."

In the latest quarter, the company listed research and development expenses of $180.4 million, down from $201.0 million last year, and selling, general and administrative expenses of $384.6 million, down from $454.7 million last year.

The shares were recently up 6.7% to $8.29.