WD Again Outships Seagate in Disk Drives
WD said Wednesday that it shipped 52.2 million disk drives, versus 48.9 million for Seagate, the third consecutive quarter Western Digital has reigned as the overall leader in disk-drive unit sales.
But Seagate pulled in $150 million in net income and $2.7 billion in revenue, versus WD's net income of $225 million and revenue of $2.475 billion. Profitability has been historically somewhat rare in the disk-drive market, although the industry has worked hard to keep costs under control.
WD topped analyst estimates for unit sales, although Seagate underperformed. Western Digital was expected to ship 51.5 million HDD units in the fourth quarter, up 1.7 percent from 50.7 million units in the third quarter, iSuppli said on Dec 15. Seagate was expected to ship 49.5 million drives, up 0.6 percent from 49.2 million units during the same period.
"Calendar 2010 was a year of tremendous opportunity for the hard drive industry with 651 million drives shipped, that's 330 million terabytes of storage capacity sold into a broadening set of applications and markets,"said John Coyne, president and chief executive officer of WD, in prepared remarks. "At 16 percent, this was the industry's strongest full year unit growth in five years. Rotating magnetic storage remains the dominant technology solution for high volume, mass storage of digital content in both the consumer and commercial markets. Full-year revenue for the industry expanded by some 13 percent to $34 billion.
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