Seagate ( STX) on Tuesday came up short of Wall Street's expectations on sales in its fiscal third quarter -- a disappointment that came after its
earnings warning earlier this month. Making matters worse, the disk-drive maker said it won't give earnings guidance until next month, effectively admitting that it doesn't have a fix on its own business prospects. After hours, the stock was recently down 1 cent, or 0.07%, to $14.51, reflecting already-low expectations heading into today's report. In regular trading, Seagate shares lost 27 cents, or 1.8%, to $14.52. For the quarter ending April 2, Seagate posted revenue of $1.39 billion, down 14% from last year's levels and below Wall Street expectations of $1.43 billion. Net income totaled $159 million, or 32 cents a share. Excluding an income tax benefit of $125 million, net income would have been much lighter, at $34 million, or 7 cents a share, in line with analyst estimates. In a press release, Seagate said it will comment on the conditions in the hard disk drive industry and its own operating performance some time in the first week of June. Seagate also said its management will move to improve its cost structure over the next several weeks "to be in line with the challenging environment ahead." In the release, Seagate complained that both it and the broader hard drive industry are facing tough times. But the company has lately fared worse than peers such as Western Digital ( WDC) and Maxtor ( MXO). For the quarter ending in March, Seagate was hit hard by an inventory buildup at major customer Hewlett-Packard ( HPQ), which caused the computer maker to cut down on purchases of disk drives from Seagate.