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EMC Hiccups, Waits for Clariion

Disappointing earnings forced EMC CEO Joe Tucci into an unusually defensive stance today to explain what went wrong last quarter. (See EMC Reports Q1.)

EMC didn't miss by much. Its first-quarter revenue of $2.55 billion was just under previous guidance of $2.57 billion to $2.59 billion, and its earnings per share of $0.14 hit its forecast. But as Tucci pointed out, "It's the first time we missed even a piece of our guidance in a long time."

Tucci used the earnings conference call to address poor sales in EMC's midrange Clariion systems and storage software, as well as bad performance in the Asia Pacific region.

Tucci also defended EMC's executive compensation, addressing negative feedback about a December award of performance stock shares to senior management.

There were positives as well. High-end Symmetrix sales increased more than expected following a system launch, Documentum content management software increased about 30 percent year over year, and VMware continued impressive growth by increasing 64 percent from last year. But after coming in a tad short of its guidance, EMC executives had a lot of explaining to do.

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