Outlook Lifts Network Appliance

The company meets its lowered first-quarter guidance.
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Shares of

Network Appliance

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were jumping in late trading after the company essentially met its lowered first-quarter guidance but offered an upbeat outlook for the fiscal year.

The Sunnyvale, Calif., maker of storage networking goods said revenue rose to $448.4 million in the quarter, up 25% from $358.4 million last year, but down 1% from $451.8 million in the prior quarter.

For the fiscal first quarter, the company earned $60.1 million, or 16 cents a share, compared with $46.9 million, or 13 cents a share, in the prior year. Before items, the company would have also earned 16 cents on a per-share basis in the latest quarter.

Two weeks ago, the company said revenue in the just-ended quarter would be $446 million to $449 million, compared with its earlier forecast of $465 million to $479 million. At the time, Network Appliance also said it would earn 15 cents to 16 cents a share, a little below its previous outlook.

The company estimates that year-over-year revenue growth for the second quarter will be in the range of 25% to 28%, with a sequential growth rate of around 5% to 7%. Network Appliance expects second-quarter earnings before items of 18 cents to 19 cents.

For the full fiscal year, Network Appliance projected revenue will climb 25% to 28% from fiscal year 2005, with earnings of 76 cents to 79 cents excluding items.

Analysts surveyed by Thomson First Call were looking for a profit of 18 cents in the second quarter and 73 cents for the fiscal year.

Network Appliance shares were stronger in extended trading, rising 7.3% to $26.30. In the regular session, the stock gained 83 cents, or 3.5%, to $24.52.