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Sun Reports Quarterly Profit Rise

January 20, 2000

SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) _ Sun Microsystems Inc. boosted its quarterly operating profit by 35 percent, edging Wall Street expectations amid brisk sales of networked computers and equipment to Internet companies.

Sun reported Thursday that its profit in the three months ended Dec. 26, its fiscal second quarter, totaled $353 million, or 21 cents a share. That compares to a profit of $261.4 million, or 16 cents a share, after charges for acquisitions, in the year-ago quarter.

Sun, based in Palo Alto, was expected to earn 20 cents a share, according to a survey of analysts by First Call/Thomson Financial. Forecasts published on the Internet shortly before the announcement, called whisper numbers, had predicted per-share earnings as high as 22 cents a share.

Sun, whose earnings were released after the close of regular trading, saw its stock rise $3.62 1/2 to a record $86.56 1/4 at 4 p.m. on the Nasdaq Stock Market on Thursday as investors anticipated strong profits.

Sun’s shares have more than tripled this past year amid brisk sales of network equipment, powerful desktop computers and servers, machines that run computer networks. Driving demand is a growing number of companies planning to create or expand their business on the Internet.

Sun’s sales have outpaced rivals IBM Corp. and Hewlett-Packard Co., and the company has beat or matched earnings expectations for five consecutive quarters.

``Sun continues to capture market share as we set the agenda in the ‘dot com’ era,″ said chief executive Scott McNealy.

Revenues reached $3.55 billion, up 27 percent from $2.78 billion.

For the first six months of the fiscal year, Sun reported net income of $625.5 million, or 37 cents a share, up from $372.9 million, or 23 cents a share, a year earlier. Revenues rose to $6.7 billion from $5.3 billion.

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