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Sun Shines With Earnings Report

Jan 19, 2001, 00:10 (0 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Michael Singer)
By Michael Singer

Hardware and software giant Sun Microsystems (NASDAQ: SUNW) Thursday announced a second quarter earnings to the delight of investors and analysts. Sun reported revenues for the second quarter were up $5.1 billion, a 44% increase compared with the second quarter of fiscal 2000. Orders for the second quarter were also up $4.9 billion, representing an increase of 32%.

"I think what you're hearing is deja` vu all over again," says CEO Scott McNealy. "We've had the same strategy and same people and same passion as in previous years. We're going to continue to gain 'big time' market share."

McNealy said his biggest concern was keeping the power on during California's energy crisis.

"Should we experience a rolling blackout during the conference call, please bear with us at this time," Sun Investor Relations Executive Mark Paisley said during introductions.

Despite a market trend to lower forecasts, Sun held its ground.

"The market is a strange thing," says Sun VP of Corporate Resources Michael Lehman. "We did not reset expectations, we put out a great product and had a great quarter."

Much of the growth came from Sun's hardware line and acquisition of Cobalt Networks, Inc. for more than $2 billion, and interest in the new iPlanet service.

Sun's line of hardware includes the new Cobalt servers, the Netra product family, Solaris servers and the Sun StorEdge T3 array support for multiple platforms.

Analysts surveyed by First Call/Thomson Financial anticipated the company would earn 16 cents a share, compared with the 11 cents it made in the year-earlier period.

Still, investors are closely watching Sun and its competitors for clues to earnings and performance with the possible threat of an economic slowdown in 2001.

Shares of Sun gained two points on the day closing at just over $34 a share.

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