The No. 1 data storage firm, EMC (EMC) , was up 9% in early trading after posting earnings of 18 cents a share, meeting analysts' lowered estimates and up from 15 cents in the year-earlier period.

The company also reaffirmed projections of a 20% increase in revenue for 2001, but said it would slow plans to hire 7,000 employees. EMC said gross margins will be between 53% and 56% of total revenue, vs. 58% last year.

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