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Seagate beats numbers by a tad

Crunch Are things starting to look up?
Tue Apr 14 2009, 08:52

SEAGATE HAD A relatively OK third quarter all things told. By that we mean above expectations in this otherwise dreary economy.

The raw numbers are that they shipped 39 million units, and took in $2.1 billion for them. This is above their last estimate of $1.6 to $2.0 billion and, in an economy where most companies don't hit even pessimistic estimates, every little gain helps.

Oddly, one of the high points according to Seagate was ATA products, which one would not expect the market to outperform on. On the other hand, 'enterprise' products took a dive by 20 per cent. To us, this says that people are upgrading their older machines and not buying new. If you make widgets, video cards, and CPUs that have a long upgrade path, things may be good for your company, but new shiny boxes are not a happy place to be this quarter.

When talking about between now to June, Seagate starts out with the disclaimer, "Current uncertainty in global economic conditions makes it particularly difficult to predict product demand and other related matters and makes it more likely that Seagate's actual results could differ materially from current expectations." For once, things like this are actually warranted.

That said, the magic 8-ball on the CFO's desk says that Q4 will basically be flat compared to Q3. This, combined with a restructuring and cutting of their dividend, will make things trend from reddish to blackish on their balance sheets. All in all, they are doing OK.

The hard numbers, in other words profit and loss, will be announced during their quarterly call on April 21. You can witness it here at 2pm Pacific time, but right now, you get a blank page.

Given the rosy (or not completely disastrous) numbers, could this be the first sign of an economic spring? µ



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