QLogic Tops B&S Insider Ranking

Financial analysis of top 10 public storage networking players shows Q easily beats the field

June 18, 2003

4 Min Read
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QLogic Corp. (Nasdaq: QLGC) easily captures the No. 1 spot on a quantitative financial ranking of the top 10 public storage networking companies conducted by Byte and Switch Insider, a new research service from Byte and Switch.

The inaugural report -- The Top 10 Public Storage Networking Companies -- analyzes the industry's biggest players based on their most recently reported quarterly results. The findings are based on 10 key metrics, including quarter-over-quarter revenue growth; revenue per share; operating expenses as a percentage of revenue; and cash flow.

The storage networking companies included in this report, which were selected based on size of market capitalization, are:

We considered only companies that derive all or a substantial portion of their revenues from storage hardware, software, or services. Thus, we do not include significant storage players such as Hewlett-Packard Co. (NYSE: HPQ), Hitachi Ltd. (NYSE: HIT; Paris: PHA), IBM Corp. (NYSE: IBM), and Sun Microsystems Inc. (Nasdaq: SUNW) because they each have sizeable non-storage-related lines of business.

For the industry at large, the report surfaces several positive data points. For example, nine of the 10 companies (with only the exception of Brocade) have lowered their expense ratios over the last year.That said, some of the largest companies in the sector continue to struggle. Most notably, Brocade -- which came in dead last in the ranking -- shows weakness in a number of key areas. For example, it has the most highly leveraged balance sheet of any of the companies we looked at. It also currently has the worst cost structure of the group.

On the other hand, while QLogic has the best overall rating, June's Byte and Switch Insider also finds that the company is very richly valued. It has the highest relative valuation of any of its peers -- with a price-to-sales ratio 40 percent higher than the next closest company (see table, below). A price-to-earnings ratio is meaningless for companies with below-breakeven earnings, so the valuation for this comparison is based on current market capitalization divided by revenues generated over the past four quarters (called trailing twelve-month, or TTM, revenue).

Table 1: Price-to-Sales Ratio, Top 10 Public Storage Networking Companies


TTM Revenue

Market Capitalization*

Price-to-Sales Ratio


$408.1 million

$891 million



$558.2 million

$1.723 billion



$5.52 billion

$24.057 billion



$296.7 million

$2.018 billion



$280.3 million

$973.5 million



$366.9 million

$1.527 billion



$892.1 million

$5.911 billion



$444 million

$4.788 billion



$2.06 billion

$2.9 billion



$1.53 billion

$11.722 billion


The full 21-page report, researched by financial analyst Christopher Bulkey, includes these other highlights:

  • NetApp beats EMC with a higher relative chart position, as some key concerns cloud EMC's outlook over the next few quarters.

  • McData shines, having greatly improved its results in recent quarters, but it's unclear yet whether this company is in full turnaround.

  • Emulex fares well on the rankings -- ending up in fourth place -- though it has one of the higher opex-to-revenues ratios of the group and cash flow is in the middle of the pack.

Todd Spangler, US Editor, Byte and SwitchFor more information or to purchase this month's report -- The Top 10 Public Storage Networking Companies -- please visit: Byte and Switch Insider

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