Sun Posts Profit as Costs Fall

Despite its recent financial woes, Sun Microsystems, the world's third largest manufacturer of business computer servers, has managed to return a profit this quarter. Although Sun's revenue rose only marginally, going from $3.83 billion to $3.84 billion, significant expense reductions have managed to put this company into the black. After returning a consecutive five quarters of profit in the previous year, Sun rebounded, posting two consecutive quarters of loss under the leadership of its new CEO, Jonathan Schwartz. Among other moves, Sun has revitalized its product line, offering new servers powered by AMD and Intel processors, as well as laying off 5,000 employees last year. Consequently, Sun's net income jumped to over $329 million in profit in the fourth quarter, compared to a $301 million loss at this same time last year; the company's 9 cents per share earnings beat analysts expectations of only 5 cents per share. Investors apparently appreciated the earnings report as much as Sun, as the stock went up 12% in extended trading, from $4.89 to $5.74.

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