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EMC's Back in Black

On the back of its new Symmetrix DMX, EMC Corp. (NYSE: EMC) today posted a small profit for its first fiscal quarter and said that it expects to stay in the black for the rest of 2003 after struggling to make ends meet over the past two years (see EMC Posts Q1 Profit).

Crediting drastic cost-cutting and increased demand for new products, EMC reported a profit of $35 million, or 2 cents per share, for the quarter, compared with a net loss of $77 million, or 3 cents per share in the year-ago quarter. Revenue for the quarter rose 6 percent, jumping to $1.38 billion from the $1.30 billion the company reported in the first quarter of 2002. The results were in line with Wall Street expectations.

EMC's shares today jumped 7.6 percent, to $8.36 a share, in afternoon trading.

However, if EMC had treated stock options as expenses -- an accounting change that is currently being reviewed by the Financial Accounting Standards Board -- it would have recorded a loss of $58 million, or 3 cents a share, the company said. That's compared with a loss of $176 million, or 8 cents a share, for the same period last year.

In the first quarter, EMC was hit with $20 million in costs related to the company's restructuring efforts, including a 1,350 headcount reduction late last year. It now has about 17,300 employees. EMC said it expects to take smaller restructuring charges in coming quarters.

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