Hutchinson Technology Inc. (HTCH)

F2Q12 Earnings Call

April 24, 2012 05:00 pm ET


Chuck Ives - Treasurer and Director, IR

Wayne Fortun - CEO

Rick Penn - President, Disk Drive Components Division

Dave Radloff - CFO


Sherri Scribner - Deutsche Bank

Rich Kugele - Needham & Company

Mark Miller - Noble Financial

Justin Lu - Zazove Associates



Good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen. Thank you for standing by. Welcome to the Hutchinson Technology second quarter results conference call.

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During today's presentation, all participants will be in a listen-only mode. Following the presentation, the conference will be open for questions. (Operator Instructions) This conference is being recorded today, Tuesday, April 24th, 2012. And at this time I would now like to turn the conference over to Mr. Chuck Ives, Treasurer and Director of Investor Relations. Please go ahead.

Chuck Ives

Good afternoon, everyone. Welcome to our second quarter results conference call. On the call with me today are Wayne Fortun, our Chief Executive Officer; Rick Penn, President of our Disk Drive Components Division; and Dave Radloff, our Chief Financial Officer.

Wayne will provide an overview of the business, Rick will provide an update on our Disk Drive Components Division and Dave will speak to our financial results and guidance.

As a reminder, we will be providing forward-looking information on demand for and shipments of disk drives and the company's products, product mix, pricing, production capabilities, the restoration of our assembly operation in Thailand, capital spending, product costs, operating expenses, product commercialization and adoption and the company's cost structure, operating performance and financial results.

These forward-looking statements involve risks and uncertainties as they are based on our current expectations. Our actual results could differ materially as a result of several factors that are described in our periodic reports on file with the SEC.

In connection with the adoption of SEC rules governing fair disclosure, the company provides financial information and projections only through means that are designed to provide broad distribution of the information to the public. The company will not make projections or provide material non-public information through any other means.

We issued our second quarter results announcement just after the market closed this afternoon and it is now posted on our website at I'll turn the call over to Wayne now for his opening remarks.

Wayne Fortun

Thanks Chuck. Good afternoon, everyone and thank you for joining us today. Second quarter suspension assembly shipments were in line with our expectations. Our volumes increased compared with the preceding quarter as the disk drive industry supply chain continued to recover from last October's flood-related disruptions. We have been able to meet all of our customer requirements during this recovery period by taking advantage of our vertically-integrated US operations, although at somewhat higher costs and we're responding to further increases in demand as the industry recovery continues.

We are pleased to report that our work to restore production at our assembly operation in Thailand is proceeding on schedule and we plan to resume production there by the end of June. We currently expect to be at pre-flood capacity levels by the middle of fiscal 2013.

After the close of the second quarter, we completed another round of debt refinancing. This refinancing improves our financial position by extending the maturities of a significant portion of our debt and reducing our overall debt balance while maintaining our cash level. I will turn it over to Rick now for a recap of the disk drive components business.

Rick Penn

Thanks Wayne. During our fiscal 2012 second quarter, we shipped ready 96.9 million suspension assemblies, an increased of 9% compared with the first quarter and in line with our expectations. Compared to our first quarter shipment rate for the 11 weeks following the flood, our second quarter shipments of 7.5 million per week represents a 15% increase. Shipments increased in all segments with the largest increase for enterprise applications. We estimate that our overall market share has remained around 20% during this period of supply chain disruption.

For the fiscal 2012 second quarter our mix of products shipped was as follows; suspensions for 3.5-inch ATA applications increased 3% sequentially and accounted for 33% of our shipments compared with 35% in the preceding quarter. Shipments from mobile applications increased 7% sequentially and accounted for 42% of our shipments compared with 43% in the preceding quarter and shipments for enterprise applications increased 20% sequentially and accounted for 25% of our shipments up from 22% in the preceding quarter.

Our average selling price in the second quarter was $0.63 compared with $0.60 in the preceding quarter. The increase was primarily the result of increased volume of development products reflecting a high level of activity on new disk drive programs and without this, our average selling price would have been relatively flat. Our second quarter shipments of TSA+ suspension assemblies accounted for 55% of our shipments, up from 52% in the preceding quarter and as you may recall TSA+ suspensions were 60% of our shipments in the fiscal 2011 fourth quarter before the flood-related supply chain disruptions.

We expect the migration towards TSA+ to continue as the supply chain recovers with TSA+ suspensions accounting for more than 80% of our volume by the end of the current fiscal year. As we reported previously, we continue to work with multiple customers on dual stage actuated or DSA suspension assemblies. DSA suspensions accounted for 1% of our fiscal second-quarter volume and we expect DSA to grow at the percentage of our product mix over the coming quarters.

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