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NetApp Keeps Pedal to Metal

Network Appliance Inc. (Nasdaq: NTAP) yesterday posted its sixth consecutive quarter of year-over-year revenue growth, but pouty investors dragged the stock down in spite of the solid performance.

For the second fiscal quarter of 2004, NetApp's revenues were $275.6 million, up 28 percent year-over-year and up 6 percent sequentially. Net income was $48.4 million -- more than triple the same period in the prior year -- which included a nonrecurring tax benefit of $16.8 million associated with a favorable tax ruling in the Netherlands.

And the company expects its momentum to continue, projecting revenues for the current quarter to grow sequentially by 3 percent to 7 percent, with net income of $0.10 or $0.11 per share.

But investors had been expecting to see an even bigger blowout for the quarter -- and as a result, NetApp's stock was down 7.8 percent in midafternoon trading today, to $21.60.

NetApp "continues to choose growth over earnings upside," writes Goldman Sachs & Co. analyst Laura Conigliaro, in a research note today.

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