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Network Appliance Rides Storage Boom

Underscoring the strength of the network-attached storage market, Network Appliance Inc. yesterday reported sharply higher profits and sales. For the second quarter, which ended Oct. 29, the company posted revenue of $124.7 million, an increase of 90% over the $65.6 million in revenue it reported for the same period last year. Earnings for the quarter nearly doubled to $16 million from $8.4 million in the year-ago quarter.

For the first two quarters of this fiscal year, the company reported revenue of $228 million, an increase of 85% over revenue of $123 million for the first six months of the prior fiscal year. Earnings for the period were up 91% to $29.5 million, compared with $15.5 million the first half of last year.

Dan Warmenhoven, Network Appliance president and CEO, used the good quarterly news to unveil a stock split that will go out to shareholders next month. The split will result in approximately 149,300,000 shares of its common stock outstanding. Warmenhoven credited increased Internet activity with generating strong demand for storage appliances and Web caching, including intelligent software products.

One of the leading vendors in the growing network-attached storage market, Network Appliance's devices attach anywhere on a network, and don't require a direct connection to servers. They are easy to install and administer, making them popular with customers that don't have the expertise to set up complex systems, or the resources to maintain them. Increasingly, thanks to the intelligent software that Network Appliance provides, the devices are being used to consolidate file access for both NT and Unix servers.

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