EMC Earnings Call Nuggets: Storage Aspects and Inventory Analysis

EMC Corporation (NYSE:EMC) recently reported its first quarter earnings and discussed the following topics in its earnings conference call.

Storage Aspects

Shebly Seyrafi – FBN Securities: Question is for you, Joe. It looks like the storage market has slowed down since the second quarter of 2012 and I am wondering you talk about political and other factors I am wondering what are your thoughts about the movement to the cloud slowing down storage spending secularly. What do you think needs to happen to accelerate growth in storage?

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Joseph M. Tucci – Chairman and CEO: Shebly, remember – David, I think both today a little bit and in depth at the strategic forum we had in February. We talked about application workloads. And depending on where those application workloads are depending on when they are written, how they are written, really dictates how – what kind of storage it needs and where it could run. So, the truth of the matter is, I don’t really – the cloud today has been a net benefit to us so far. I don’t know how many quarters in a row, like I haven’t been counting but at least the last four. We’ve said that our highest growth business has been to service providers. So, we’re selling a lot of business. First of all cloud is not only public cloud it’s private cloud. We’re leaving the journey to the private cloud and that is – and of course when you put, let’s put it platform 2 type of applications into a cloud, you need storage which has a rich set of services which favors us. Our market share within storage is going up. I do believe you’ll see a tremendous of shadow IT go to public clouds and that’s both good and bad, but good that new things are tried, bad in that I think we lose – the enterprises lose some control of the information, but over time this will be I think net good, and we’re going to plan both the private and public side, and it’s all about what we’re doing in terms of adopting HDFS with native, Scale-out NAS, our object storage Atmos, software defined storage, and stay tuned, we’re going to do a lot of that at VMworld in a couple of weeks, our flash program. So, we have a great portfolio that plays both with the cloud and traditional data centers, and remember the cloud is both private and public. So, we do not see this as a negative trend for us.

Inventory Analysis

Brian Marshall – ISI Group: Obviously, when you look consolidated EMC gross margins on a year-over-year basis, the trajectory is nice in the sense that it’s improving year-over-year, but when you break apart VMware as well as core EMC, it looks as though EMC actually declined from a course standpoint year-over-year in terms of margins. So, I think this is obviously atypical for you guys. I was wondering if you could talk about the key drivers of that year-over-year decline. Then is this a trend that’s going to continue throughout calendar ’13 if you can give any color there.

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Joseph M. Tucci – Chairman and CEO: I’ll start out, David is fighting a little bit of a voice problems here, but the — I mentioned how Q1 came in. In anticipation of that because obviously we also said we had a late — not as late, but a late Q4, so that cause us to say okay it was going to be late, we need to build up more inventory. In the end when you get orders late you need to buy different kinds of inventory, which when you buy inventory late in the quarter tends (indiscernible) little bit more. We have more people and more cost in the factories, we have higher shipping costs. Also our fixed costs were up a bit this quarter. We had — our fixed cost grew faster than revenue due to softer capitalization, amortization, warranty, cost and manufacturing overhead. So that’s kind of what happened to us. We told you very clearly. David said it again today that we did not expect leverage in the first half of the year, we expect good leverage in the second half of the year and this quarter came in very close to our expectations and I think when you look at on a proverbial curve, I really think we had a good quarter.

David I. Goulden – President and COO: I have very bad line this morning. So I would tell you my comment last night, no I couldn’t speak today probably, but just to pick up where you had left off. The fixed cost issues, we don’t expect fixed cost to rise as much during the year. We expect our volumes in the storage to increase, so that factor is going to become less of an issue going forward so would you expect the EMC on high gross margins increase sequentially during the year. We expect the consolidated company margin will be up year-over-year and that with the OpEx is what’s going to drive leverage in the business in 2013.

A Closer Look: EMC Corporation Earnings Cheat Sheet>>