Seagate Blows Past Wall Street's Profit View (Update 1)

This story has been updated with Seagate's gross margin guidance, reaffirmed revenue targets and share price.

CUPERTINO, Calif. ( TheStreet) -- Seagate ( STX) delivered strong fiscal third-quarter results after Tuesday's close, beating Wall Street's expectations on both the top and bottom lines.

The hard drive maker brought in revenue of $4.4 billion, up from $2.7 billion in the prior year's quarter, and above the average analysts' forecast of $4.38 billion.
Seagate reported its third-quarter results after market close.

Excluding items, Seagate earned $2.64 a share on net income of $1.2 billion, up from 25 cents a share and $113 million in the prior year's quarter. Analysts surveyed by Thomson Reuters were looking for earnings of $2.11 a share.

Seagate also achieved a gross margin of 37% during the third quarter, comfortably above its forecast of 33%.

Investors responded positively to the numbers, pushing Seagate's shares up $1.01 cents, or 3.62%, to $28.90 in extended trading.

The Cupertino, Calif.-based company explained that it is overcoming the challenge of last year's floods in Thailand which sent shockwaves through the hard drive industry.

"Seagate delivered strong performance this quarter by concentrating our efforts toward supporting our customers as the recovery of the hard drive industry continues to progress," said Steve Luczo, the Seagate CEO, in a statement. "Importantly, during this challenging period, Seagate has successfully transitioned its portfolio to industry-leading products across all markets thereby positioning the company for continued leadership through operational excellence."

The hard drive specialist reaffirmed its $5 billion revenue target for its fiscal fourth quarter on Tuesday, as well as its $20 billion goal for calendar year 2012. Seagate, which competes with Western Digital ( WDC), also raised its fourth-quarter gross margin forecast from 33% to 34.5%.

Seagate also announced on Tuesday that its board has approved a quarterly cash dividend of 25 cents a share, which will be payable on May 12.

-- Written by James Rogers in New York.

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