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Goldman Cites Dell, EMC, IBM

Trio rank highest in financials, boards, and ownership stability; Qlogic and Sun don't fare as well

For shareholders in these post-bubble days, corporate honesty isn't enough. They want proof that financial statements are solid and boards impartial. And a recent report from Goldman Sachs & Co. says three companies in their covered universe of storage and system players are on the right track.

Dell Computer Corp. (Nasdaq: DELL), EMC Corp. (NYSE: EMC), and IBM Corp. (NYSE: IBM) ranked highest in a qualitative analysis of the financials, boards, and ownership stability of firms covered by Goldman researchers.

"Dell, EMC, and IBM were the most consistent, pulling ahead of the pack by ranking well across most metrics," write report authors Laura Conigliaro, Brenden M. Smith, and Jean Liu. "Our overall leaders exhibited several best practices including a detailed disclosure of supplemental financials, a highly independent board, and a transparent ownership structure."

In contrast, two of Goldman's covered companies in the segment -- QLogic Corp. (Nasdaq: QLGC) and Sun Microsystems Inc. (Nasdaq: SUNW) -- didn't fare as well, mainly because their books aren't open enough. "[T]hese two companies seem only to release the bare minimum, withholding much of the detail that investors need to better analyze their businesses," the report states.

Neither Qlogic nor Sun had responded to calls about the report at press time.

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