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Sun announces record levels of smugness as Q1 results rocket

We're the best, stuff the rest -- Zander, McNealy, et al

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Sun continues to shine financially -- and executive heads continue to swell. Just look at its latest financial results, posted yesterday, which show its revenue grow 25 per cent year-on-year and its income rise by 138 per cent over the same timeframe. So, earnings for the company's first quarter, ended 26 September, reached $271.1 million, up from $113.9 million for the same period last year. Ignoring one-off charges, Sun made $274.8 million, a more modest increase of 39 per cent on the Q1 1999 pre-charge profit of $197.9 million. Charges incurred included $3.5 million for in-process R&D thanks to the Star Division acquisition and a $1.3 million tax provision relating to the same purchase. Revenue for the quarter was $3.12 billion, up from $2.49 billion. Interestingly, the quarter marks the seventh three-month period in which Sun profit has risen. Apple was just as gung-ho about it's own such quarter as Sun is today, and then look what happens: down come the profits. Perhaps Sun should learn a little humility too, but is this possible, we wonder? Sun's bosses were certainly so ebullient about this "blow-away quarter" that clearly Christmas has come early for the company that only last week said it was the planet's only true hope against Microsoft (in Redmond, where the shadows lie...) "It's starting to separate us from the pack," gushed Sun CFO, Michael Lehman -- presumably we can take it that this is official recognition that Sun has, until now, always been part of the pack. And "[Hewlett-Packard] should have been blaming Sun's sales force for their problems", said smug Sun president Ed Zander, referring to HP CEO Carly Fiorina's recent statement that her company's server sales would be down next month thanks to a poor effort from its sales force. CEO Scott McNealy completed the trio with: "The public challenge to Sun by HP, IBM and others would be even more of a concern if we were fighting against new and improved strategies, but we're not. If imitation is the highest form of flattery, we are very flattered." Indeed. ®

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