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NetApp Nets Plenty

Network Appliance Inc. (Nasdaq: NTAP) danced through a quarter filled with danger for its competitors, announcing 73 percent net income growth over last year.

NetApp reported revenue of $358.4 million and net income of $49.9 million or earnings per share of $0.13 for its first fiscal quarter. The revenue was up 38 percent from last year and 6 percent over the previous quarter. NetApp beat Thomson First Call estimates of $353 million in revenue and $0.12 EPS.

NetApp joins a handful of competitors such as Dell Inc. (Nasdaq: DELL) and EMC Corp. (NYSE: EMC) and IBM Corp. (NYSE: IBM) that reported a strong quarter while many of their rivals stumbled -- most notably Hewlett-Packard Co. (NYSE: HPQ). (See EMC Bucks June Swoon, Dell Revenue Rises 20 Percent, IBM Posts 2Q Results, and HP Storage Slammed.)

NetApp is off to a great start in fiscal 2005,” CFO Steve Gomo gloated in a conference call with analysts after announcing results.

CEO Dan Warmenhoven said NetApp is growing so fast because it is no longer a pure NAS play, with SAN systems generating more than 17 percent of its revenue last quarter. He said it’s not a pure Fibre Channel company either, as nearly one-quarter of the SAN bookings included some iSCSI. He said NetApp has more than 700 IP SAN customer deployments worldwide.

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