EMC is preparing to cut as many as 1,250 jobs.

The company reported its third-quarter results this morning, exceeding analyst estimates, but the results aren't enough to stop a wave of jobs cuts as the company consolidates after 21 acquisitions in the past three years.

The cost of merging operations will lead to a pre-tax charge of between $150 million and $175 million in the fourth quarter, the company said. "A lot of our employees are hearing this for the first time," said CEO Joe Tucci. He said EMC's staff has grown to 31, 000 from just 17,500 three years ago.

Job cuts will be concentrated in middle management but will avoid research and development or "customer-facing" positions such as sales, Tucci said.

EMC is best known for making network storage equipment, but has expanded into virtualisation with the acquisition of VMWare, and network security with its $2.1 billion purchase of RSA Security.

EMC now bills itself as an information infrastructure company instead of a storage company, Tucci said, explaining that the acquisitions have brought the company into the markets for information storage, protection, security, intelligent information management and other areas. "I fundamentally believe that the company that combines information storage, information protection and information security together the best is going to be a huge winner and I know that company will be EMC," he said.

Original reporting by Robert Mullins, IDG News Service