Orange County Business Journal

Western Digital Shares Up on Q2 Results

Jane Yu Thursday, July 26, 2012

Irvine-based Western Digital Corp. reported growth in revenue and profit for its June quarter, beating Wall Street expectations on both.

The company also saw gains on revenue and profits for its fiscal year, which ended with the recent quarter.

The disk drive maker’s shares ticked up 2.2% on the report, to a market value of about $8.44 billion.

Western Digital had $4.75 billion in revenue for the June quarter, double the sales from the year-ago period. Analysts on average had been expecting $4.25 billion in revenue.

It shipped 71 million hard disk drives in the quarter, up 31% from a year ago.

Net income for the quarter was $745 million, a nearly fivefold increase from a year earlier, when the company earned $158 million in profit.

Analysts were expecting earnings of about $640 million.

The latest report includes results for the first full quarter of Western Digital’s recently acquired Hitachi Global Systems Technologies Ltd subsidiary.

Western Digital acquired the San Jose-based operation in March for $4.8 billion.

Western Digital spent $664 million in operating expenses last quarter, compared with the $297 million a year ago.

It also repaid $558 million of debt and spent $604 million on a round of stock repurchases, buying back more than 16 million shares of common stock.

It put in $233 million into investments during the quarter, including purchases of property and equipment.

Western Digital had $12.48 billion in revenue for the year, up 31% from $9.53 billion in fiscal 2011. Analysts on average had expected $11.98 billion.

The company had $1.61 billion in profit for the year, more than double the $726 million from a year ago. Analysts had expected about $1.86 billion total.

Western Digital is the second-largest public company based in Orange County. Its products go into computers, external storage devices and consumer electronics.

“Fiscal 2012 was one of the most challenging and exciting years in our 42-year history,” Chief Executive John Coyne said, citing “major natural disasters” and the “largest acquisition in the history of the industry.”

The company in October was forced to shut down two of its plants in Thailand when the region was hit with one of the worst floods it had seen. Western Digital ships more than half its disk drives from Thailand and has about 37,000 employees. Operations resumed a few months after.

Analysts are expecting a profit of roughly $650 million on revenue of $4.45 billion for the current quarter.