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EMC Profit Little Changed

Excluding items, earnings match estimates.
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first-quarter earnings inched up 1% from a year ago, but the absence of stock-options expenses in the year-ago period queered the comparison.

EMC, a maker of data storage systems, earned $272.5 million, or 11 cents a share, in the quarter, compared with $269.8 million, or 11 cents a share, a year ago. Pro forma to exclude stock-based compensation and other items, EMC earned $380.3 million, or 16 cents a share, in the latest quarter, compared with $296.6 million, or 12 cents a share, last year.

Analysts surveyed by Thomson First Call were forecasting earnings of 14 cents a share in the most recent period. The estimate excluded a stock-options cost of 3 cents a share but not the other expense, meaning EMC matched the forecast.

EMC's sales rose 14% from a year ago to $2.55 billion, about $30 million short of estimates. Systems revenue in the first quarter was $1.23 billion, a 20% increase over the year-ago quarter. "EMC had double-digit software license and maintenance revenue growth for the 11th consecutive quarter, increasing revenues 11% to $925 million. Professional services, systems maintenance and other services revenue grew 6% year over year to $396 million," the company said.

For the second quarter, EMC expects pro forma earnings of 17 cents a share on sales of at least $2.66 billion. Analysts were forecasting 15 cents a share on sales of $2.71 billion. For the year, EMC sees earnings of 70 cents to 73 cents a share before items on $11.1 billion to $11.3 billion. Analysts saw 66 cents a share on $11.16 billion.

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