EMC's rise to national prominence has prompted some investors to begin their search for ''the next EMC.''
With demand for its data-storage systems still on the rise, Hopkinton-based EMC Corp. last year sold $6.7 billion worth of big storage boxes - triple its 1995 sales. And with IBM Corp. aggressively pursuing EMC's dominant position in the storage market, EMC shot back with new products to improve its lead and retain customers requiring a vast data storehouse.
EMC's weak spot? ''At the moment there doesn't seem to be a weak spot,'' said Kenneth Amano, an analyst for Delta Capital Management in New York.
How about EMC's stock?
As the Nasdaq Composite index has dropped into bear market territory, EMC's stock has succumbed, plunging from its $144-a-share high on April 7 - it had doubled since November - to about $110. But EMC has proved resilient, snapping back to a current level of around $134.
As of March 31, EMC was the biggest company in Massachusetts, with a stock market value of $134.2 billion - bigger than the combined value of Gillette Co., FleetBoston Financial Corp., and CMGI Inc.
As with any technology company, EMC's greatest challenge is staying one step ahead of technological advance, analysts said. Its April rollout of new hardware and software storage systems, with more megabytes, was designed to achieve that. The company also introduced operating system software for e-commerce companies. Last year it acquired Softworks Inc. for its data-storage software.
But the Internet may pose EMC's biggest threat in the future as some companies begin to sell remote data storage over the Internet. But that is a distant threat.
''Obviously, the market and the company can't keep growing 30 percent a year forever - something's gotta happen'' to slow EMC down, Amano said. But, he added, ''it's hard to know what it is at this point.''