EMC again reported record-setting financial results despite the fact that "customer caution continued in the first quarter of this year," said chief operating officer David Goulden in an investor conference call on April 24. He described EMC's financial performance as "a solid start to 2013," momentum that the company hopes to capture as it gears up its newly spun-out Big Data and cloud computing business called Pivotal.
Revenues for the first quarter of 2013 (1Q13) totaled $5.39 billion, a 6 percent improvement over the same period a year ago. GAAP net income weighed in at $580 million, or $0.26 per share. On a non-GAAP basis, net income was $850 million, or $0.39 per share, increases of 4 and 5 percent over the same year-ago quarter, respectively.
Unsurprisingly, the company's data storage operations generated the bulk of revenues last quarter, to the tune of $3.81 billion, a 3 percent boost compared to last year. VMware experienced strong growth and contributed $1.19 billion, a 13 percent year-over-year increase. RSA and the Information Intelligence Group (IIG) took in $230 million and $160 million, respectively.
EMC was able to deliver these results after withstanding a suspenseful first quarter, indicated CEO Joe Tucci.
During the conference call, Tucci offered some insights into the current state of IT buying and hinted that if not for some "late bookings" the company could have delivered different news. He said "customers are being very cautious," and added that increasingly, IT investments are requiring a "higher level of executive sign-off."
While IT executives played it safe, EMC's Symmetrix high-end storage business weathered their guarded sentiments. The segment grew 10 percent year-over-year to $1.21 billion in revenues in 1Q13.
EMC's Emerging Storage segment, which includes the company's flash-based portfolio, grew at a particularly brisk pace. Revenues totaled $250 million, a 25 percent jump from the same year-ago quarter. Goulden noted that flash alone "grew 60 percent year-over-year."
Tucci also used the occasion to announce a major new development in the company's Pivotal initiative.
In December, EMC announced that was spinning off certain VMware assets, including vFabric, Cloud Foundry and Cetas, along with Greenplum and Pivotal Labs. Called Pivotal, the company would serve the white-hot Big Data, analytics and the cloud markets.
Today, EMC and General Electric (GE) announced that the latter was investing $105 million in Pivotal for a 10 percent stake in the entity. GE will offer Pivotal-based analytic services to its customers in the aviation, transportation, healthcare, energy and manufacturing industries via the GE Global Software Center, as per the terms of the deal.
Pedro Hernandez is a contributing editor at InfoStor and InternetNews.com. Follow him on Twitter @ecoINSITE.