Orange County Business Journal

Western Digital Shares up on March Earnings Report

Chris Casacchia Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Irvine-based disk drive maker Western Digital Corp. on Wednesday reported earnings and revenue for the March quarter that beat Wall Street expectations.

The company recorded $3.8 billion in sales for the recently ended quarter, up 26.7% from a year earlier and topping analyst estimates of $3.61 billion.

Net income topped $514 million in the December quarter, up 6.4% from a year ago.

Wall Street had expected net income of about $426 million.

Investors sent Western Digital shares up more than 3% in afterhours trading on the heels of the earnings report released after the market closed Wednesday.

The company said it sold 60.2 million hard drive units in the March quarter, up 36.2% from 44.2 million units shipped a year ago amid a recovery effort in Thailand, its main manufacturing hub that was forced to shut down two of its plants there for months.

Chief Executive Steve Milligan said the gains were fueled by rising demand among corporate customers and last year’s $4.3 billion buy of San Jose-based Hitachi Global Storage Technologies Ltd., which caters to that segment.

The company’s disk drives go into computers, external storage devices, corporate networks and consumer electronics.

Western Digital’s Cupertino rival Seagate Technology Inc. is scheduled to report March earnings May 1.