Seagate Technology PLC's CEO Discusses Q3 2012 Results - Earnings Call Transcript

Seagate Technology PLC (STX)

Q3 2012 Earnings Call

April 17, 2012 6:00 pm ET

Executives

Kate Scolnick -

Stephen J. Luczo - Chairman, Chief Executive Officer and President

William David Mosley - Executive Vice President of Operations

Patrick J. O’Malley - Chief Financial Officer and Executive Vice President of Finance

Albert A. Pimentel - Chief Sales & Marketing Officer and Executive Vice President of Worldwide Sales & Marketing

Analysts

Aaron C. Rakers - Stifel, Nicolaus & Co., Inc., Research Division

Ananda Baruah - Brean Murray, Carret & Co., LLC, Research Division

Eric Sterling - Barclays Capital, Research Division

Keith F. Bachman - BMO Capital Markets U.S.

Richard Kugele - Needham & Company, LLC, Research Division

Steven B. Fox - Cross Research LLC

Katy Huberty - Morgan Stanley, Research Division

Robert Cihra - Evercore Partners Inc., Research Division

Joe Yoo - Citigroup Inc, Research Division

Mark S. Miller - Noble Financial Group, Inc., Research Division

Scott D. Craig - BofA Merrill Lynch, Research Division

Mark A Moskowitz - JP Morgan Chase & Co, Research Division

Jayson Noland - Robert W. Baird & Co. Incorporated, Research Division

Presentation

Operator

Good afternoon, and welcome to the Seagate Technology Fiscal Third Quarter 2012 Financial Results Conference Call. My name is Melanie and I'll be your coordinator for today. [Operator Instructions] As a reminder, this conference is being recorded for replay purposes. I would now like to turn the call over to Kate Scolnick, Vice President Investor Relations. Please proceed, Kate.

Kate Scolnick

Thank you. Good afternoon, and welcome to today's call. I'm joined today by Seagate's CEO, Steve Luczo; CFO, Pat O'Malley; Dave Mosley, Executive Vice President of Operations; Rocky Pimentel, Chief Sales and Marketing Officer; and Ken Massaroni, Executive Vice President and General Counsel.

We posted our press release and detailed supplemental information about our fiscal third quarter 2012 on our Investor Relations site at seagate.com.

During today's call, Steve will review highlights from the March quarter and provide the company's outlook for the fiscal fourth quarter and calendar year 2012. After that, we'll open up the call for questions.

Before we get started, please note that we are hosting a Strategic Plan update for analysts and investors on September 21, with details to follow shortly. As a reminder, this conference call contains forward-looking statements, including but not limited to, statements related to the company's future operating and financial performance in the June 2012 quarter and thereafter, and include statements regarding customer demand for disk drives and general market conditions. These forward-looking statements are based on information available to Seagate as of the date of this conference call and are subject to a number of risks, uncertainties and other factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those anticipated by these forward-looking statements. Such risks, uncertainties and other factors may be beyond the company's control. In particular, global economic conditions may pose a risk to the company's operating and financial performance. Information concerning additional factors that could cause results to differ materially from those projected in the forward-looking statements is contained in the company's annual report on Form 10-K and Form 10-K/A, as filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission on August 17, 2011, and August 24, 2011, respectively, and in the company's quarterly report on Form 10-Q, as filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission on January 25, 2012. These forward-looking statements should not be relied upon as representing the company's view as of any subsequent date, and Seagate undertakes no obligation to update forward-looking statements to reflect events or circumstances after the date they were made.

I would now like to turn the call over to Steve Luczo. Steve?

Stephen J. Luczo

Thanks, Kate. Good afternoon, everyone, and thanks for joining us today. Seagate's third quarter results reflect strong operating performance by the company against the backdrop of a continued recovery of the hard drive industry. Our main focus this quarter were on operational execution in order to meet our customers' requirements and returning value to our shareholders. We delivered successfully on both fronts.

In our fiscal third quarter, Seagate achieved revenue of $4.4 billion, diluted earnings per share of $2.48. Cash flow from operations was $938 million and we ended the quarter with approximately $2.1 billion in cash. Through the extraordinary efforts of our suppliers and outstanding execution from our operations, Seagate successfully delivered our portfolio of products to a broad base of customers. We also returned significant value to our shareholders this quarter, with over $1.2 billion in dividends, share repurchases and debt repurchase. The 43.1 million share repurchased during the March quarter reflected approximately 10% of the outstanding ordinary shares of the company.

We increased our unit shipments by 29% over last quarter, shipping 61 million drives, which equates to approximately 42 exabytes. Shipments of our client products improved, with the notebook market almost fully recovered, as expected. We expect the market for desktop drives to remain constrained, most likely through the fall. In the enterprise, the mission-critical market segment market seems to have almost fully recovered, while business-critical continues to be constrained as demand for storage continues to increase rapidly with the ongoing build out of the cloud infrastructure.

We believe we are well-positioned for these cloud-based trends because of our broad product portfolio, which represents several high-demand, sole-supply product offerings. Our Samsung label products represented approximately 13% of our shipments this quarter. We are very pleased with the value this business has brought to Seagate. We have increased manufacturing capacity and have successfully increased our additional design engineering headcount by over 25% at our Korean design center since the acquisition was completed.

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