HOPKINTON, Mass. ( TheStreet -- Shrugging off recent tech sector unease, storage giant EMC ( EMC) reported solid first-quarter results on Thursday. EMC, which is one of the key players in cloud computing and the emerging big data market, brought in revenue of $5.1 billion, an 11% increase on the prior year's quarter, and roughly in line with analysts' forecasts of $5.12 billion.
Excluding items, EMC earned 37 cents a share, a 19% hike on the same period last year, and above analysts' estimates of 36 cents a share. "We are in a time of unprecedented IT and business transformation, propelled by the benefits of cloud computing, Big Data and trust," explained EMC CEO Joe Tucci, in a statement released before market open. "EMC is off to a strong start to 2012 and is exceptionally well-positioned to help customers take advantage of these major transformational shifts." EMC enjoyed 26% year-over-year growth in its mid-tier storage products, and almost doubled revenue from its Isilon network-attached storage (NAS) hardware. Revenue from the company's RSA security division increased 19% compared to the same period last year. In contrast, rival IBM ( IBM), which reported its first-quarter results earlier this week, saw its storage hardware revenue slip 4%. EMC's numbers were also boosted by a strong quarter from its VMware ( VMW) virtualization subsidiary, which reported after market close on Wednesday. The storage specialist noted that VMware revenue grew 25% year over year. The storage specialist predicted consolidated revenue that is expected to meet or potentially exceed $22 billion in 2012. Analysts surveyed by Thomson Reuters have forecast fiscal 2012 revenue of $22.24 billion for EMC. Investors, however, were unmoved by EMC's results, pushing the company's shares down 69 cents, or 2.37%, to $28.45 in premarket trading. --Written by James Rogers in New York. >To follow the writer on Twitter, go to http://twitter.com/jamesjrogers. >To submit a news tip, send an email to: firstname.lastname@example.org. Check out our new tech blog, Tech Trends. Follow TheStreet Tech on your wireless devices.