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Western Digital

(WDC) - Get Western Digital Corporation Report

trounced Wall Street expectations for its fiscal second-quarter results late Tuesday as hard-drive shipments increased nearly 3% on a sequential basis.

After the closing bell, Irvine, Calif.-based Western Digital said it earned $225 million, or 96 cents a share, on revenue of $2.48 billion for the three months ended Dec. 31, more than 60% ahead of the average estimate of analysts polled by

Thomson Reuters

for a profit of 58 cents a share on revenue of $2.35 billion. The company shipped 52.2 million hard drives in the quarter vs. 50.7 million in its fiscal first quarter.

"We are pleased to deliver better-than-expected revenues, profitability and gross margin in the December quarter, reflecting solid execution and an improvement in hard drive industry conditions compared with the prior two quarters," said John Coyne, the company's president and CEO, in a press release. "The opportunity for profitable growth in our industry remains tremendous and we are committed to improving our financial performance over the longer term."

Western Digital said it generated $505 million in cash from operations in the latest quarter, bringing its total to $3.11 billion, up nearly 9% from $2.86 billion at the same time last year.

The stock was last quoted at $34.71, up 2.2%, on volume of nearly 400,000, according to

. Western Digital shares closed Tuesday's regular session at $33.94, rising 1.5%. Over the past 52-weeks, the stock is down roughly 24%.

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The news gave a lift to shares of Western Digital rival

Seagate Technology

(STX) - Get Seagate Technology Holdings PLC Report

, which tacked on 1.4% to $14.78 in late trades on volume of around 400,000.

Seagate is slated to report its fiscal second-quarter results after Wednesday's closing bell. Wall Street is expecting earnings of 33 cents a share for the December period on revenue of $2.73 billion.

On a forward price-to-earnings basis, Western Digital was looking more expensive than Seagate -- even before the stock's move in after-hours trading -- with Western Digital shares sporting a 9.6X multiple vs. 7.4X for Seagate.


Written by Michael Baron in New York.

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Michael Baron


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