COSTA MESA, Calif. ( TheStreet) -- The list of companies using Emulex's ( ELX) server and storage technology -- including IBM ( IBM), DELL ( DELL), Hewlett-Packard ( HPQ) and Cisco ( CSCO) -- just keeps growing. In recent months, the company has talked about 15 "design wins" for its components, although CEO Jim McCluney admitted that the number is much bigger during a conference call organized by analyst firm Canaccord Adams. "Not to be facetious, but we're running out of fingers and toes for our design wins," he quipped. "
In the first half of this year, the majority of those 15 will come to market." McCluney explained that the company had "ratcheted up more than 20 design wins," in response to a question from TheStreet. "The key message is that top-tier OEMs are adopting Emulex's technology." The company's shares closed up 72 cents, or 6.35%, at $12.06 on Tuesday, far outpacing the modest advance in tech stocks that saw the Nasdaq climb 0.87%. The data center equipment specialist, which competes with QLogic ( QLGC), Brocade ( BRCD) and LSI ( LSI), recently announced strong second-quarter results and has emerged as something of an analyst darling. Last year McCluney told TheStreet that the tech rebound is underway, spurred on by companies' cloud computing efforts. During Emulex's conference call on Tuesday the CEO added that companies are also shifting from 1-Gigabit Ethernet to higher performance 10-Gigabit Ethernet systems, as well as the latest versions of Intel's ( INTC) Nehalem chip, all of which are driving demand.
"Whether it's a V-shaped recovery or not remains to be seen," he said, in response to an analyst's question. "Certainly, a lot of the reports that I have seen, CIO surveys, say that people are moving from cost-cutting to growth." Emulex nonetheless faced questions on its gross margins after predicting a 66% gross margin for the March quarter. McCluney admitted that the firm's push into 10-Gigabit Ethernet products will result in some margin erosion, but said that this will be about 1% to 2% over the year. "If we're more successful in 10 gig, we might see a lot more margin pressure," added Jeff Benck, the company's chief marketing officer. -- Reported by James Rogers in New York Follow James Rogers on Twitter and become a fan of TheStreet.com on Facebook.