reported a hefty 62.5% increase in its fiscal fourth-quarter operating earnings Thursday, beating Wall Street estimates.
Sun reported fourth-quarter income of $659.5 million, or 39 cents a share, excluding one-time gains and charges, compared with $395.3 million, or 24 cents a diluted share, in its fourth quarter of 1999. The consensus estimate of Wall Street analysts had forecast earnings of 33 cents a share, according to
First Call/Thomson Financial
Palo Alto, Calif.-based Sun said its results were driven by strength across its businesses, which include computer workstations, storage devices, large network servers based on the Unix operating system and cross-platform programming languages.
Sun also said its results were helped by a continued climb in market share in the network server business.
"In just the last few years, our market share has risen from the No. 4 open system server provider to an undisputed No. 1," said Scott McNealy, chief executive at Sun. "Our belief is that everything with a digital or electronic heartbeat will one day be connected to the Internet and often to Sun servers."
During the quarter, Sun realized a net gain of $92.7 million for one-time items, which included sales of equity investments valued at $95.8 million and a charge of $3.1 million related to its acquisition of
. Including those items, the company's net income was $720.4 million, or 42 cents a share, compared with $395.3 million, or 24 cents a share in the fourth quarter of 1999.
Sun's revenue for the quarter topped the $5 billion mark for the first time ever at $5.017 billion, a 42% gain from $3.537 billion in the fourth quarter of 1999.