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EMC's Juggling Act

Despite a profit warning and cuts, EMC makes a $50M software acquisition. What?

EMC Corp. (NYSE: EMC) issued its third consecutive profit warning after the markets closed last night. And it announced plans to cut an additional 10 percent of its workforce, roughly 2,400 jobs, citing worsening global economic conditions.

But just a few hours before news of the guidance reduction broke, the storage giant quietly snapped up Luminate Software Corp. for $50 million in cash (see EMC Acquires Luminate).

So what's it playing at?

Let's take it from the top. EMC says it's attempting to make the best of a dim economic situation. "The business world is simply covered in a blanket of hesitation," said Joe Tucci, CEO of EMC, in a prepared statement. He added that it is "highly unlikely" that EMC will break even in its fiscal third quarter.

That means EMC's revenues will be substantially lower than the $2.3 billion reported at this time last year. They will also be lower than the $1.8 billion in revenue that would have been required to meet First Call consensus quarterly profit of $0.01 a share.

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