Sun insists it will meet analyst expectations

Sun Microsystems Inc. shed light on its current quarter sales numbers Nov. 26, saying pricing competition will hit the bottom line. The Santa Clara-based server maker says sales margins for the all-important holiday quarter are tracking below last quarter’s by 41 percent. But the company claims it will meet analysts’ expectations of $2.9 billion in quarterly revenue by the new year.

Not including one-time expenses, that’s a projected loss of a penny a share for the current quarter, still much better than the 3 cents per share loss for the same quarter last year.

With eight weeks down and five to go in the quarter, Sun CFO Steven McGowan says it’s too early to give specific business details. He was even more tight-lipped in October when the company released its fiscal first quarter numbers, which showed revenue of $2.7 billion.

This latest financial dipstick test by the company says the current quarter is on track to beat last quarter by a hefty margin, despite tough pricing competition by Microsoft and IBM.

Sun, once one of the bluest of Silicon Valley blue chips, has been singing the blues recently as many of the customers for its high-end servers and workstations fell on hard times or succumbed to the dot-com bust and turned belly up.