EMC: Riding the Data Wave

08/03/2015 8:00 am EST

Focus: STOCKS

Linda McDonough

Hedge Fund Analyst, Profit Catalyst Alert and Growth Stock Strategist

"What is the world to do with all the data spilling out of our laptops and servers and mobile devices?" asks Linda McDonough in Smart Tech Investor.

The deluge of data being dumped into enterprises is growing exponentially and is causing a seismic shift in the spending patterns of corporate IT departments.  

EMC Corp. (EMC) has a unique position at the forefront of modern network architecture for big data. It is one of the only companies with all of the tools necessary to bridge old storage methods to current cloud capabilities.  

The company—the largest data storage provider in the world—has successfully navigated the evolution of data storage since 1981 when it developed its first memory boards for Prime Computer.  

It migrated from improving hard drive capacity on bulky mainframes in the 80s to offering redundancy in server farms in the 90s to revolutionary techniques like virtual memory via its purchase of VMWare in 2003.

The company has spent over $16 billion on 75 acquisitions since 2005. In the process it has built up an arsenal of storage products to revolutionize enterprise data centers.

EMC’s product portfolio now allows companies to manage their data, act on their data in real time, protect their data, analyze it, and transform it into useful information.

It is one of the few companies offering a full menu of storage solutions, allowing customers to seamlessly migrate all of their data to the cloud.

Most importantly, EMC’s new products, like the Extremio 4.0, outperform physical servers multiple times over, allowing customers to reduce the number of servers needed and generating significant returns on their investments.  

While it may seem that EMC is shooting itself in the foot by promoting new products—which cannibalize the need for its old hardware—this example illustrates EMC’s vision to aggressively morph into a service and software provider fit for the digital age.

Virtustream, purchased for $1.2 billion in cash this July, delivers unique functionality to EMC. While EMC already offered products that allowed customers to store data on private or public clouds, little existed to move data between private and public clouds.  

Virtustream addresses this hybrid approach. The next time a computer accurately scans a bar code at the grocery store or when a tablet pulls up all your health data at the hospital you can likely thank EMC.

EMC generates consistently strong cash flow, offers investors a dividend yield of 1.7% and trades at discount to its peer group. Valued at 12 times 2016 estimates, the stock is a bargain for a company poised to ride the next wave of data storage.

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