, the leading computer disk drive manufacturer, reported a sharp decline in first-quarter operating earnings Wednesday, but the results sharply exceeded Wall Street's forecasts.
The company, which is moving to go private in a complex, $20 billion transaction with
, said its pro forma earnings, excluding one-time items, fell to $46 million, or 20 cents a diluted share, a 60% drop from 49 cents a share in the first quarter of 1999.
A survey of analysts by
First Call/Thomson Financial
had forecast earnings of 15 cents a share for the latest quarter.
Special items for the company during the quarter included: a $49 million restructuring charge, a $105 million in-process research and development write-off related to the acquisition of
, a $453 million gain on the sale of its investment in
and a $78 million in charges related to the company's investment in Veritas.
Including those items, Seagate reported net income of $136 million, or 58 cents a diluted share, compared with $82 million, or 34 cents a share, in the first quarter of 1999.
Revenue for the first quarter fell 11%, to $1.57 billion, from $1.81 billion a year earlier.
The deal was announced after the stock market closed. Earlier, Seagate's shares ended regular trading down 2, or 3.9%, at 49 3/4.
The earnings report will likely be the second to last for the Palo Alto, Calif.-based company, which expects to complete a transaction in the third quarter that will take Seagate private.
In late March, the company announced a complex transaction in which it will sell its 33% stake in Veritas, a data storage software company, and become privately-held. Under the deal, Veritas will acquire Seagate and Seagate's 33% stake in Veritas, then sell the disk drive business to private investors for $2 billion. The investors include current Seagate management.