) -- Proving that data storage, although dull, can be a money-spinner,



comfortably beat Wall Street's


estimates before market open on Wednesday and raised its 2010 guidance.

EMC posted record second-quarter revenue of $4.02 billion, a 24% hike on the same period last year, and above analysts' estimate of $3.98 billion.

Excluding items, EMC earned 28 cents a share, an increase of 56% compared to the prior year's quarter. Analysts surveyed by Thomson Reuters had expected EMC to earn 27 cents a share.

Investors nonetheless sold off EMC's shares in the immediate aftermath of the results, and the company's stock was down 36 cents, or 1.78%, to $19.88 in pre-market trading.

Analysts had already predicted a strong June for EMC, buoyed by a much healthier IT spending environment. In a statement, EMC CEO Joe Tucci explained that the company saw "strength and demand" from its customers during the quarter, which boosted its numbers.

Video: EMC On Deck >>

EMC's high-end Symmetrix system and its mid-range storage products performed particularly well, with revenue increasing 32% and 33%, respectively, compared to the same period last year.

Earlier this week analyst firm FBR had identified a possible surge in demand from EMC's U.S. customers, which duly materialized during the company's second-quarter results. EMC's U.S. sales were $2.1 billion, an increase of 28% year-over-year.

EMC, which competes with


(HPQ) - Get Report



(IBM) - Get Report

, also raised its outlook for fiscal 2010. The storage maker now expects to exceed its previous revenue forecast of $16.5 billion and its earnings prediction of $1.18 a share, excluding items.

Analysts surveyed by Thomson Reuters have forecast EMC 2010 revenue of $16.64 and earnings of $1.20 a share.

-- Reported by James Rogers in New York

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