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Storage dynamo Network Appliance bounded to a stellar fourth quarter and fiscal 2005.

NetApp posted 34 per cent growth during its fourth quarter with revenue of $452m. The company's net income surged as well, hitting $63m as compared to $36m in the same period one year earlier.

For the full year, NetApp pushed revenue to $1.6bn - a 37 per cent year-over-year rise. The company's net income for the full year rose 48 per cent to $226m.

"Fiscal 2005 was an outstanding year for Network Appliance," said NetApp CEO Dan Warmenhoven. "We achieved strong gains in revenue, captured additional market share, expanded gross margins, and broadened our offering of the most innovative products targeted at the areas of fastest growth in storage."

NetApp and rival EMC dominate the market for networked storage systems. Both companies have performed well in recent quarters as sales of disk-based systems and related software have surged.

During the fourth quarter, NetApp placed a number of strategic bets against EMC. In particular, it formed a reselling agreement with IBM that will see Big Blue give up on part of the storage market and just move NetApp gear. In addition, NetApp and Veritas showed off new product that is the result of an engineering agreement between the firms.

NetApp saw its strongest growth come from the software division with sales jumping 74 per cent.

In the first quarter, NetApp is looking for revenue to come in between 30 per cent and 33 per cent higher than last year's Q1. It also expects revenue for all of fiscal 2005 to be between 32 per cent and 35 per cent higher than 2004. ®

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