Western Digital's CEO Discusses Q3 2012 Results - Earnings Call Transcript

Western Digital (WDC)

Q3 2012 Earnings Call

April 26, 2012 5:00 pm ET

Executives

Bob Blair -

John F. Coyne - Chief Executive Officer, Executive Director and Chairman of Executive Committee

Wolfgang U. Nickl - Chief Financial Officer and Senior Vice President

Analysts

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

Richard Kugele - Needham & Company, LLC, Research Division

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

Robert Cihra - Evercore Partners Inc., Research Division

Scott D. Craig - BofA Merrill Lynch, Research Division

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

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

Benjamin A. Reitzes - Barclays Capital, Research Division

Scott Schmitz - Morgan Stanley, Research Division

Sherri Scribner - Deutsche Bank AG, Research Division

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

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

Presentation

Operator

Good afternoon, and thank you for standing by. Welcome to Western Digital's Third Quarter Financial Results for Fiscal Year 2012. [Operator Instructions] As a reminder, this call is being recorded. Now, I'll turn the call over to Mr. Bob Blair. You may begin.

Bob Blair

Thank you. I want to mention that we will be making forward-looking statements in our comments in response to your questions concerning growth in the storage industry, the timing of our pending divestiture transactions with Toshiba, capital spending and industry conditions and our financial results expectations for the June quarter. These forward-looking statements are based on management's current expectations and are subject to risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially, including those listed in our 10-Q filed with the SEC on January 27, 2012. We undertake no obligation to update our forward-looking statements to reflect new information or events.

In addition, references will be made during this call to non-GAAP financial measures. Reconciliations of the differences between the historical non-GAAP measures we provide during this call for the comparable GAAP financial measures are included in the investor's information summary posted in the Investor Relations section of our website. The forward looking guidance we provide during this call excludes charges related to the Thailand flooding net of other recoveries, expenses related to the HGST acquisition and any impact from the pending divestiture transaction with Toshiba. Because of the amount of these items that is not known to us at this time, but we are unable to provide guidance for or a reconciliation to the most directly comparable GAAP financial measures.

The impact of these excluded items may cause the estimated non-GAAP financial measures to differ materially from the comparable GAAP financial measures. [Operator Instructions] I also want to note that copies of remarks from today's call will be available on the Investors section of WD's website immediately following the conclusion of this call.

I will now turn the call over to Chief Executive Officer of WD, John Coyne.

John F. Coyne

Thank you, Bob. Good afternoon, and thank you for joining us on today's call. After my introductory remarks, Wolfgang Nickl, our CFO, will review our Q3 financial performance and the outlook for the fourth quarter.

We are delighted to report these exceptional financial results for the March quarter, demonstrating the potential of the new WD with just 3.5 weeks of HGST results added to the standalone WD business.

Competing in the marketplace through our WD and HGST subsidiaries, we now have the product portfolio, technology resources and the people to focus on serving the needs of a significantly expanded customer base and to better address the tremendous growth opportunities in the storage industry in the years ahead.

IDC expects the amount of digital storage capacity shipped across all digital storage media will more than double by 2015 from 767 exabytes in 2012. With the HDD storage responsible for roughly 70% of exabyte shipments over this time frame, driven by mobility, connectivity and the cloud. These dynamics create the need for an increasingly diverse set of products and technology capabilities from storage solutions providers.

Rotating magnetic storage continues to be the dominant technology in this highest volume, high-capacity storage markets based on availability, scalability, usability and value. The recently updated IDC forecast calls for hard drive unit volume growth of 10% per year from 2011 to 2016, another indicator of the tremendous growth opportunity at hand for the new WD.

When we announced the HGST acquisition in March 2011, we emphasized that this would be the hard drive industry's first ever transaction involving 2 profitable and growing companies, and that this was significant because of the resultant customer breadth and product breadth, depth of technology, people and scale. We are highly focused on what we believe is a tremendous revenue opportunity for the new WD based on the value proposition offered to our customers by each subsidiary. We aim to continue the strong track record of customer delight and superior financial performance of each subsidiary by delivering efficiencies consistent with regulatory requirements.

It is noteworthy that during more than 12 months of regulatory reviews and 2 natural disasters, WD and HGST teams maintained full engagement with customers and continue to invest and execute to develop and deliver multiple innovative products. I call your attention to an impressive list of recent innovations outlined in the expanded quarterly investment summary report on our website.

Some examples include: The shipment of the industry's first 2-terabyte, 2.5-inch My Passport hard drives for mobile personal storage; the industry's first 1-terabyte 10,000 RPM, 2.5-inch WD VelociRaptor hard drive for high-performance workstations and extreme gaming platforms; the industry's first 4-terabyte, 7,200 RPM, 3.5-inch Ultrastar drive for the capacity enterprise and cloud infrastructure markets; the industry's first SAS enterprise class SSD to use 25-nanometer single-level cell NAND flash technology, the 400-gigabyte Ultrastar SSD; the industry's first 7,200 RPM, 2.5-inch, 7-millimeter, 500-gigabyte Travelstar mobile hard drive, extending our lead in the low-profile drive market, where to date, we have shipped more than 25 million 7-millimeter hard drives for use in slim notebooks and Ultrabooks.

Read the rest of this transcript for free on seekingalpha.com

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