Those counting on a tech recovery have been handed mixed messages by a decidedly up-and-down collection of quarterly numbers from the market's giants.
After figures from F5 Networks and VMware both disappointed, quarterly results filed yesterday by storage giant EMC and networking beast Juniper hinted at a market recovery.
EMC topped Wall Street expectations as it reported a 61 per cent spike in Q4 net profit to $629m on revenue that powered up 19 per cent to $4.9bn.
EMC chief executive Joe Tucci dubbed the performance "the best in company history" and estimated that IT spending rose by 7-8 per cent last year, compared with 3-5 per cent in 2009. He also predicted tech spending would increase by a respectable 5-7 per cent in 2011, according to a Reuters report.
"Equipped with the strongest, most distinctive product and services portfolio and strategic partners, we have never been more confident in EMC's position to lead [the] transformational shift to IT as a service," Tucci said.
Juniper Networks also impressed as an uptick in networking equipment spending drove a 26 per cent year-on-year rise in Q4 sales to $1.19bn, although investors were disappointed by a conservative first quarter forecast.
Juniper chief executive Kevin Johnson said: "Juniper produced outstanding results in 2010, the first year of a multi-year growth strategy centred on mobile internet and cloud computing trends."
Last week the market punished F5 Networks after the vendor missed revenue estimates for its fiscal first quarter and forecast second quarter sales below expectations at $275m-$280m. Its share price sank by more than 20 per cent the following day.
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