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QLogic Rolls in Dough

Beats the Street with yet another stellar quarter, despite fears of a slowdown in HBA sector UPDATED 7PM

After the pummeling Emulex Corp.'s (NYSE: ELX) stock took last week after the company announced weaker-than-expected guidance, some may have feared other companies in the space would follow. But Emulex's archrival, QLogic Corp. (Nasdaq: QLGC), soared beyond expectations in announcing its most recent quarterly results today (see Is Emulex Slowing Down? and QLogic Reports Record Q4).

QLogic reported better-than-expected earnings on rising revenues both for its fiscal fourth quarter and full year 2003. The host bus adapter (HBA) vendor announced net profit of $29.9 million, or 31 cents per share, up 60 percent from its year-ago profits of $18.7 million, or 20 cents a share. The companys earnings also increased by 9 percent over its December quarter, when it cashed in $27.5 million. Analysts polled by Thomson First Call had on average expected QLogic to post earnings of 30 cents a share.

Analysts seemed enthused with the results. “Too bad the Lakers couldn’t be that good,” one analyst said on the conference call following the earnings release.

The company expects to continue its upward trend for the current quarter, which ends June 30. “We are cautiously optimistic in regards to the outlook for our June quarter,” QLogic CFO Frank Calderoni said on a conference call this evening. The company is forecasting 2 to 5 percent sequential revenue growth and pro forma earnings per share of 30 to 35 cents.

Wall Street analysts also say they expect QLogic to continue growing in the current quarter. "Sun Microsystems Inc. [Nasdaq: SUNW], Fujitsu Ltd. [OTC: FJTSY] (enterprise HDD units), and IBM Corp. [NYSE: IBM], which collectively account for around 40% of QLogic’s revenue, will likely grow in the double-digits sequentially,” A.G. Edwards analyst Shebly Seyrafi wrote in a note before QLogic announced its earnings today. He noted that by itself IBM’s BladeCenter, which includes QLogic FC chips, is likely to add 2 to 3 percent of incremental sequential revenue growth for QLogic.

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