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Fusion-io forecasts revenue above estimates; shares jump

(Reuters) - Memory drive maker Fusion-io Inc reported higher-than-expected revenue for the third quarter and forecast current-quarter revenue ahead of analysts' estimates, pushing up its shares 11 percent in after-hours trading.

The company, which makes solid state memory drives using NAND flash technology, forecast revenue of about $110 million for the fourth quarter. Analysts on average were expecting $107.3 million, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

"I think the sentiment was negative after the company cut its (full-year) outlook after the December quarter, but the third quarter results have signaled to the investors that the company is back on track," Craig-Hallum Capital Group analyst Rajesh Ghai said.

Fusion-io slashed its fiscal 2013 revenue forecast in January as key customers Facebook Inc and Apple Inc delayed orders.

"Our relationship with Facebook and Apple is strong. Their orders this quarter were in line with our expectations. We are a key part of their infrastructure and expect to grow as they grow," Chief Executive David Flynn said on a call with analysts.

Fusion-io's net loss increased to $20 million, or 21 cents per share, in the third quarter ended March 31, from $4.7 million, 5 cents per share, a year earlier.

Excluding items, the loss was 3 cents per share.

Revenue fell 7 percent to $87.7 million.

Analysts on average had expected a loss of 1 cent per share on revenue of $107.3 million.

The company also said it had agreed to acquire Louisville-based NexGen Storage for $114 million in cash and $5 million in stock. Fusion-io said it would add about 50 NexGen employees to its team.

Fusion-io shares fell to $18.42 in after-market trading after closing at $16.63 on the New York Stock Exchange on Wednesday.

(Reporting By Aditya Kondalamahanty in Bangalore; Editing by Maju Samuel)

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