* Fiscal Q3 EPS beats market expectations
* Sees Q4 EPS excluding items $0.49-0.53 vs Street's $0.54
* CEO cites supply shortage of new "FAS3200" system
* Shares fall 4 pct after-hours
(Adds background on data storage products, competitors,
byline; updates share price)
By Ritsuko Ando
NEW YORK, Feb 16 Data storage equipment maker
NetApp Inc (NTAP.O) gave a weaker-than-expected profit
forecast, blaming a components shortage, pushing the company's
shares down 4 percent.
NetApp Chief Executive Tom Georgens said the company failed
to keep up with demand for its new "FAS3200" storage systems,
due to a shortage of some semiconductor components.
The company forecast fiscal fourth-quarter profit,
excluding items, of 49 to 53 cents per share. Analysts had
expected 54 cents per share, according to Thomson Reuters
He said the weaker-than-expected outlook was no indication
of a slowdown in sales or a decline in market share.
"Clearly we are continuing to gain share," he told
"While disappointing in the near term, we remain optimistic
as demand is very strong," he said, adding the company was
trying to catch up with demand.
Under Georgens, NetApp has gained share from rivals, moving
from No. 5 in the corporate data storage equipment market to
No. 3 behind EMC Corp EMC.N and International Business
Machines Corp (IBM.N), according to market researcher IDC.
Net profit for the third quarter that ended Jan. 28 rose to
$172 million from $108 million a year earlier. Excluding items,
profit per share was 52 cents per share, beating the average
Wall Street forecast of 50 cents a share.
Third-quarter revenue rose to $1.27 billion from $1.01
billion a year earlier.
NetApp shares fell 4 percent to $56.01 in extended trading
after closing at $58.54 on Nasdaq.
They had risen over 15 percent since the start of the year,
and traders had said they had priced in strong earnings
The popularity of online video and the switch to digital
data in various businesses are generating huge amounts of
online traffic. That, in turn, is seen boosting demand for
effective storage products and "cloud computing" -- accessing
remote computing power and data over the Internet.
Dealmaking in the storage sector heated up last year as
EMC, IBM, Dell Inc DELL.O, Hewlett-Packard Co (HPQ.N) and
Oracle Corp ORCL.O began jostling for dominance.
HP bought 3PAR for $2.4 billion after a heated battle with
Dell, while Dell later announced plans to take over Compellent
Technologies Inc for close to $1 billion. IBM has bought
Netezza Corp for $1.7 billion and EMC bought NetApp rival
Isilon Systems for $2.3 billion.
The company said it would be acquisitive, without being
specific, but added there was no pressure for it to do deals in
the near term as it was managing to expand market share on its
(Reporting by Ritsuko Ando; Editing by Richard Chang, Gary