Hard drive manufacturing is apparently exceeding pre-Thailand flood levels and companies such as Seagate are now reaping the benefits from increased HDD pricing.
The company said it expects to report record sales of about $4.5 billion for the second calendar quarter (fiscal Q4) of this year, based on shipments of 66 million drives and aggregate storage volume of 45 exabytes.
In comparison, Seagate shipped reported $4.4 billion revenue for the previous quarter (calendar Q1 2012), 61 million sold drives and 42 exabytes of storage. Compared to last year, Seagate shipped 52 million drives and 33 exabytes in the second calendar quarter of 2011 (prior to the Thailand flood, which happened in October 2011).
On a year-to-year basis, Seagate says it has seen a 21 percent increase in HDD shipments for the second quarter. Revenue climbed in the same timeframe by 34 percent and non-GAAP gross margin almost doubled from 18.8 percent to 33.6 percent
Still, Seagate did not reach its original forecast. "The June quarter’s shortfall was due primarily to two factors. First, we did not achieve our planned market share growth as we reduced shipments in response to the industry’s faster than expected recovery from their supply chain disruption," said CEO Steve Luczo in a statement. "Second, we experienced an isolated supplier quality issue that affected one of our enterprise product lines. This product issue impacted enterprise product unit shipments by approximately 1.5 million units and drove our non-GAAP gross margin below our targeted plan. While this disruption to our business was disappointing, we acted quickly and conservatively by suspending shipments of the affected products. We have resolved the issue and have resumed fulfilling our supply commitments to customers."
Seagate previously expected revenues of about $5 billion and non-GAAP gross margin of at least 34.5 percent.