Seagate made more money than expected in its third fiscal 2010 quarter, due to record hard drive shipments of 50.3 million units and tight inventory controls. Eyes are now on rival Western Digital, which reports tomorrow, to see if it has beaten Seagate's production figures.
In the latest quarter Seagate had revenues of $3.05bn, up 31 per cent year-on-year, and net income of $518m, which compares to last quarter's net loss of $275m.
Last quarter Seagate shipped 49.9 million drives and WD 49.5 million, a difference of just 0.8 per cent, and WD has been catching up with Seagate's production numbers over the past few years. In general WD's mobile, desktop and consumer market shipments have collectively been growing more strongly than Seagate's equivalent sector shipments.
Seagate has historically been much stronger than WD in the enterprise drive space, which WD has now entered. In this latest quarter Seagate shipped 11 per cent more drives for enterprise, mission-critical server and storage applications than in the previous quarter, and that might increase the gap between it and WD.
It also showed strength in the consumer electronics sector but disappointed some analysts in the notebook sector. 3.5-inch drive shipments remained greater than 2.5-inch. This is a somewhat unexpected result, probably due to notebook component shortages in the quarter.
This could well affect WD as well.
Seagate said it's seeing signs of a commercial PC refresh cycle starting, and expects its fourth fiscal 2010 quarter revenues to be in the $2.85bn-$3.05bn range. ®