WD, Seagate Recover From HDD Shipment Shortage

Seagate's CEO Steven Luczo said that more drives are shipping, but the low-point of supply was not in November as previously believed, but "closer to mid-December".

Seagate shipped 61 million drives in the first quarter (13 percent of which were Samsung drives), up from about 47 million units in Q4 of 2011. Western Digital said it shipped about 44 million drives, up from 28.5 million units in the prior quarter. Seagate's revenue climbed to $4.4 billion, the net income was $1.1 billion WD's revenue was $3.0 billion and net income $483 million. Both companies also recently gained in market capitalization again. Seagate currently stands at about $13.11 billion, while WD is at $9.74 billion.

Luczo told analysts that the HDD industry will continue its current pace of recovery. In Q4 2011, a total of 119 million drives were shipped, while Q1 saw estimated total shipments of about 140 million units.  The total available market (TAM) for Q2 will be 160 million drives, 180 million for Q3 and up to 190 million for Q4, according to Seagate. However, Luczo did not say how many drives Seagate will be able to ship in those quarters. The executive noted that "distribution pricing [of hard drives] remains well above historical spreads" and there remains a "a substantial and growing shortfall in unmet exabyte demand resulting from the supply-chain disruptions caused by the floods."

WD's John Coyne was a bit more optimistic and told analysts that "the recovery activities related to both WD operations and those of [its] supply chain partners impacted by the Thailand floods have reached the point where [the company] now [has] the capability to adequately meet anticipated customer demand in the current quarter and beyond."

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