HP storage looking limp

NetApp revenues could overtake it


Comment HP's fourth quarter storage results show that NetApp is catching it up on a revenue basis.

HP made $918m from its storage business in its fourth fiscal 2009 quarter, while NetApp recorded $910m. A year ago HP earned $1.15bn though, whereas NetApp made $908.4m, with HP showing a 20 per cent year-on-year decline and NetApp staying level.

Both companies recorded a sequential increase in revenues from the previous quarter; NetApp having a nine per cent increase and HP an 11.4 per cent one.

NetApp's CEP Tom Georgens described the quarter in terms of "record gross margins, record revenue from our SAN products, and overall revenue that exceeded our expectations”. HP described the main feature of its quarterly storage revenues as its storage mainstay, the EVA mid-range enterprise arrays, experiencing a 23 per cent year-on-year revenue decline.

Stifel Nicolaus analysts Aaron Rakers points out that the latest HP storage results compare with its "storage revenue declining 21.6 per cent year-on-year and 20.6 per cent year-on-year in F2Q09 and F3Q09, respectively." HP has recorded roughly 20 per cent year-on-year declines in storage revenues for each of its past three quarters.

Rakers says the enterprise storage market leader, EMC, reported its total storage revenue declined 12 per cent year-on-year during the September quarter, and "IBM and Hitachi Data Systems (HDS) reported that [their] total storage revenue declined 13 per cent and 21 per cent year-on-year during the September quarter, respectively".

This leaves NetApp well clear of the pack. Its next quarter is expected to show record revenues of $935m to $955m.

What can we expect from HP? If Storage remains three per cent of its total revenues then it would deliver $888m to $897m from its expected $29.6bn to $29.9bn revenues next quarter, meaning NetApp's storage revenues will overtake those from HP. ®

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