It's easy to keep a secret when your specialty is data storage.
"While EMC's competition has jockeyed for position during the industry's downtime, both the company and the stock will see brighter days once corporate spending flicks the switch," we argued at the time.
Well, someone flicked the switch. Absent a $160 million restructuring charge, the company this month will announce a fourth-quarter profit of a penny or two a share on a healthy sequential uptick in sales.
Even better, EMC's in the black before the one-time charge -- even the most upbeat Wall Street analysts pegged a breakeven quarter, at best. But the real surprise is that the tech bellwether is looking to report more than $1.47 billion in fourth-quarter revenue. That's well above Street forecasts and a substantial gain from the third quarter's $1.26 billion showing.
The company's new line of CLARiiON networked storage and software solutions has kick-started the necessary return of corporate spending.
While it's unclear how much progress the company made in the 250-million share buyback announced in October, when its stock dipped below $4 a stub, any stock it bought back then was money well-spent, as shares have nearly doubled over the last three months.
Can the company keep it going? Will corporate spending continue to shine kindly on EMC? Are the profits here to stay? The company might shed some light on these beefy questions when it reports final fourth-quarter financials in two weeks.