EMC's News Isn't Half Bad

07/21/2010 4:03 pm EST

Focus: STOCKS

Jim Jubak

Founder and Editor, JubakPicks.com

It wasn’t the home run that Intel (Nasdaq: INTC) hit with its earnings, but EMC’s (NYSE: EMC) results back up my theory that technology hardware companies with new products offering more power at lower prices and lower operating costs will stay strong in 2010 even if the economy stumbles.

In this June 20 post, I argued that Wall Street had misunderstood the lessons of IBM’s and Intel’s second quarter earnings.

Not all technology stocks would report better-than-expected results for the quarter and guide higher for the year, as Wall Street concluded after Intel’s earnings. Technology hardware companies with new products that promised attractive short-term returns, however, would do well despite IBM’s disappointing results.

Intel was one of these, in my opinion. Cisco Systems (Nasdaq: CSCO), due to report on August 11, is likely to be another. And EMC, which reported second quarter earnings Wednesday morning, would give me a quick test of my thesis.

Those results support my argument, I think. The company beat Wall Street’s projections by a meager penny a share, and revenue only exceeded expectations of $3.98 billion by a few million, although that did amount to a very solid 24% growth in revenue from the second quarter of 2009.

However, the company did raise guidance for all of 2010 above its previous projection of $1.18 share in earnings and $16.5 billion in revenue.

EMC said that it was seeing solid growth in its core storage platform, with growth in sales of its Symmetrix networked storage platform up 32% from the second quarter of 2009. Gross margins also climbed—just like at Intel—and the company gained market share. Operating and free cash flow hit all-time records so far this year. (The stock closed just below $19.50, down 3.75% on the day.)

I’m not buying anything with the market so volatile and the trend still, in my opinion, pointing downward, but I am adding EMC to Jim’s Watch List with this post.

Full disclosure: I don’t own shares of any company mentioned in this post in my personal portfolio.

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