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VMware 1Q Net Up 52% On Revenue Gains

DOW JONES NEWSWIRES VMware Inc.'s (VMW) first-quarter earnings rose 52% as the software maker saw double-digit revenue gains from services and licenses. The company also revised its full-year revenue view to a range of $4.53 billion to $4.63 billion, compared with its prior estimate of $4.48 billion to $4.6 billion. For the current quarter, VMware forecast revenue of $1.1 billion to $1.12 billion, bracketing the $1.11 billion estimate from analysts polled by Thomson Reuters. VMware dominates the market for virtualization software, which allows users to run multiple computers' operations on a single machine, the first step in cloud computing that connects all kinds of computing devices. The product has become popular with corporate customers, which use it to reduce their information technology costs. VMware's results have soared in recent quarters initially because of a rebound in information-technology spending and later because of early license renewals and increased demand for add-on products. The company is now expanding focus to selling bundles of applications on top of its virtual software to help businesses serve the growing number of mobile platforms. The company recently introduced a new suite of products for its Cloud Foundry system, which is used to run and manage cloud systems that allow data and applications to be accessed from Internet-connected computers. Last week, VMware announced the departure of its chief financial officer Mark Peek and the appointment of Carl Eschenbach as its new chief operating officer. VMware, which is majority-owned by storage vendor EMC Corp. (EMC), reported a quarterly profit of $191.4 million, or 44 cents a share, up from $125.8 million, or 29 cents a share, a year earlier. Excluding stock-based compensation expenses and other items, per-share earnings rose to 66 cents from 48 cents. Analysts most recently predicted a per-share profit of 60 cents. Revenue increased 25% to $1.06 billion. Last week, VMware said its revenue would "broadly meet or slightly exceed" its January forecast of between $1.02 billion and $1.04 billion. Operating margin widened to 20.6% from 18.2%. Revenue from services -- which include subscriptions, consulting and support -- increased 35%. License revenue was up 15%. Shares were down by 17 cents to $111.12 in recent after-hours trading. Earlier this month the stock reached a five-year high, but has since pulled back 3.4% through Wednesday's close. -By Nathalie Tadena, Dow Jones Newswires; 212-416-3287; nathalie.tadena@dowjones.com

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