Wall Street Beat: Earnings help boost tech as Dow closes above 14,000

EMC, Lenovo and NetSuite all post solid sales results, though BlackBerry, Apple and Facebook face investor skepticism

By , IDG News Service |  IT Management

Apple also can't seem to catch a break. Shares closed down at $453.62 Friday, well below the company's 52-week high of $705.07. Though the company last week posted an increase in revenue in the fourth quarter, profits were flat as it faced increasing competition from Android-based mobile devices.

The share slump Friday came even after Strategy Analytics reported earlier in the day that Apple outsold Samsung Electronics to become the number-one mobile phone vendor in the U.S. for the first time ever during the fourth quarter.

The good news for the market in general was that mobile phone shipments rose 4 percent annually to reach 52 million units in the U.S. during the fourth quarter of 2012, according to Strategy Analytics.

"The growth was driven by robust demand among consumers for 4G smartphones and 3G feature phones," said Neil Shah, senior analyst at Strategy Analytics, in the report.

Otherwise, tech earnings news this week was good. Enterprise software vendor earnings, for example, showed a healthy market for business applications.

Cloud-based business application vendor NetSuite said Thursday that revenue for the fourth quarter of 2012 was $85 million, a 33 percent increase over the prior year. Total revenue for the year was $308.8 million, a year-over-year increase of 31 percent.

Storage vendor EMC reported that it experienced a fourth-quarter revenue jump of 8 percent, fueled by solid gains at its VMware subsidiary, while profit rose 5 percent. Revenue was $6 billion for the fourth quarter, while net income hit $870 million.

On the hardware front, Lenovo Wednesday said quarterly profit skyrocketed 34 percent year over year to a company record of $205 million, as revenue rose by 12 percent to US$9.4 billion. Though PC sales are expected to grow slowly this year for the industry as a whole, Lenovo was helped by gains in its smartphone business in its home market of China.

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