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High Tide for Seagate

The disk drive maker beats first-quarter projections and upped guidance for the second quarter.

Disk drive maker


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on Tuesday reported fiscal first-quarter earnings that beat Wall Street's and its own lofty expectations.

On the strength of 47 million disk drive shipments, the Scotts Valley, Calif., company reported revenue of $3.29 billion, vs. $2.79 billion in the year-ago period. Analysts polled by Thomson Financial expected revenue of $3.22 billion.

Seagate reported GAAP net income of $355 million, or 64 cents per diluted share. Excluding charges associated with the company's acquisitions of Maxtor and EVault, Seagate earned $385 million, or 69 cents a share. Analysts predicted earnings of 64 cents a share.

"The first fiscal quarter has historically been a strong one for Seagate, and this year, we benefited from unit demand greater than expected," CEO Bill Watkins said in a company statement. "We believe we are well positioned to continue driving year-over-year revenue growth, and these record quarterly results demonstrate the effectiveness of Seagate's business model."

The results came in a quarter in which Seagate faced falling prices for its products amid a price war involving rivals

Western Digital

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Still, Seagate in August

upped its quarterly earnings and revenue outlooks. It raised its earnings guidance to between 62 cents and 66 cents a share, well above its original forecast of 40 cents to 44 cents a share. It also boosted its expected revenue range to $3.15 billion to $3.25 billion, above its earlier view of roughly $3 billion.

Looking ahead, the company is optimistic about its second quarter that ends in December. The company sees revenue of between $3.4 billion and $3.5 billion, and GAAP diluted net income of between 66 cents and 70 cents a share. Excluding charges of approximately $26 million related to the Maxtor and EVault acquisitions, the company sees diluted net income of between 71 cents and 75 cents a share.

Analysts expect second-quarter earnings of 69 cents a share on revenue of $3.40 billion.

Seagate shares ended the day down 44 cents, or 1.6%, to $26.45. The stock was trading up modestly in recent after-hours action, to $26.50.