Five Companies That Came To Win This Week10:00 AM EST Fri. Aug. 17, 2012
Lenovo's first-quarter profit jumped 35 percent and revenue grew 30 percent as the Chinese PC maker reported strong sales of new notebooks and ultrabooks, including the IdeaPad U310 and U410.
Year over year, notebook sales grew 23 percent while desktops grew 26 percent, the latter driven by the arrival of Lenovo's ThinkCentre M92p "tiny" desktop. If this continues, Lenovo is a cinch to take over the top spot in global PC market share from Hewlett-Packard.
"Even as the overall market dropped, our global market share reached another historic high, 15 percent," said Lenovo CEO Yang Yuanqing during a conference call with investors. "Just a year ago, we were behind the No. 1 [PC maker] by just six points, but now we have narrowed the gap to just seven-tenths of a point."
NetApp's profit dropped 54 percent and revenue dipped 1 percent during the company's fiscal first quarter, but NetApp beat Wall Street's estimates and offered guidance that exceeded expectations. Investors enjoyed hearing this and jostled to purchase NetApp shares.
Seventy eight percent of NetApp's first-quarter revenue came from indirect sales channels, up from 76 percent in the same period of last year. On the distribution side, sales through Arrow comprised 16 percent of total revenue, up from 15 percent last year, while Avnet accounted for 14 percent, up from 11 percent last year.
Cisco wrapped up its fiscal 2012 year by reporting $8 billion in profit, up 24 percent from last year, in what amounted to a powerful sign that the networking giant's recent struggles are behind it.
Although Cisco lost out in its bid to acquire network virtualization startup Nicira, CEO John Chambers pointed out that Cisco is well-established in the space. "We saw virtualization coming early," Chambers said on the company's earnings call.
"We think the future is going to be hardware and software combined," said Chambers. "Our goal is to lead this evolution along with our partners."
EMC is exploring the idea of spending some of its $5.65 billion in cash to acquire security vendors to complement its RSA business, according to a Bloomberg report this week, which listed Fortinet, Check Point and Palo Alto Networks as possible targets.
EMC hasn't yet acquired any of these vendors, but given the recent swashbuckling approach it is driving with VMware, and the transformative moves it is clearly ready to make, such a scenario would not come as a big surprise.
IBM is beefing up its storage lineup by acquiring Texas Memory Systems, a player in the market for high-performance Solid State storage. IBM says it intends to "invest in and support" the TMS portfolio and will, over time, integrate the company's technology into its own line of storage, servers, software and PureSystems products.