The storage sector has been taking a beating this morning, a day after

Brocade

(BRCD)

beat

earnings estimates but sliced its annual sales forecast.

Shares of Brocade recently lost $9.19, or 20.6%, to $35.44 in

Nasdaq

trading.

Goldman Sachs

analyst Laura Conigliaro lowered her 2001 earnings estimate for Brocade to 58 cents from 62 cents. She also reduced her 2001 estimate for

EMC

(EMC)

to $1 from $1.05. Both companies are on the firm's U.S. recommended for purchase list. This morning, EMC said first-quarter global demand for information storage systems, software and services has been strong, and the company projected revenue growth of 25% to 35% for 2001.

The Hopkinton, Mass., hardware and software maker said it is continuing "to march toward" its revenue goal of $12 billion in 2001. Shares of EMC were beaten down in

Instinet

action before the market opened, and recently lost $6.96, or 16.2%, to $35.99 in trading away from the primary market.

Morgan Stanley Dean Witter

slashed its investment rating on EMC to neutral from strong buy and cut Brocade to outperform from strong buy.

Merrill Lynch

analyst Thomas Kraemer reduced his 2001 top- and bottom-line estimates on Brocade and lowered his price target to $65. He cut his second-quarter revenue outlook to $168 million from $194 million. Kraemer lowered his full-year 2001revenue estimate to $771 million from $856 million. He also cut his second-quarter earnings estimate to 13 cents a share from 15 cents and reduced his 2001 projection to 60 cents from 67 cents.

Other storage players were losing ground in early trading.

Emulex

(EMLX)

lost 6.5%, while

QLogic

(QLGC)

fell 14.2%.

Network Appliance

(NTAP) - Get Report

lost 12.8%.