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To: Sam who wrote (7785)7/11/2011 11:37:29 AM
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Yes, it doesn't even phase me any more. They are such "loosers". <G>

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From: Sam8/19/2011 2:21:53 PM
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Bad for the STX and WDC for sure if these objections aren't overcome.

Brussels objects to WD's Hitachi GST purchase

Issues beefs, awaits corporate response

By Chris MellorGet more from this author

Posted in Storage, 19th August 2011 14:11 GMT

The European Union is objecting to Western Digital's proposed purchase of Hitachi GST on antitrust grounds.

The European Commission has issued a formal Statement of Objections. A Western Digital SEC filing said:

The Statement of Objections sets out the European Commission's preliminary assessment regarding the combination of the Company and Viviti [Hitachi GST's holding company] and its potential effects on competition. A Statement of Objections is a preparatory document that does not prejudge the European Commission's final decision. The issuing of a Statement of Objections allows recipients to present arguments in response to the European Commission's preliminary assessment of the competitive effects of a notified transaction. Subject to obtaining the required regulatory approvals or expiration of applicable waiting periods in the European Union and other remaining jurisdictions, the Company expects the transaction to close during the fourth calendar quarter of this year.

Detail on the objections hasn't been released at this stage. Assuming WD can respond appropriately to the objections, the deal will go ahead.

Assuming it can't, it won't. ®

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From: Sam10/20/2011 11:40:04 PM
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Seagate Q1 EPS Tops Ests; Sees Big Impact From Thai Floods
10/20/2011 @ 4:56PM Eric Savitz

Seagate shares are trading modestly higher Thursday afternoon after the company posted better-than-expected profits for its fiscal first quarter ended September 30. But the company also warned that the drive industry is going to be badly disrupted for at least the next few quarters by the recent severe flooding in Thailand, home to large-scale production of both drives and related components. The comments come one day after rival Western Digital warned that due to production cutbacks in Thailand, it would see much lower shipments in the December quarter and likely beyond.

For the quarter, the hard-disk drive company reported sales of $2.8 billion, a hair below the Street consensus of $2.9 billion, with non-GAAP profits of 34 cents a share, ahead of the Street at 31 cents. The company sold 51 million drives in the quarter. Gross margin was 19.5%.

The company noted that “in light of the situation in Thailand,” where serious flooding has affected manufacturing of both drives and related components, “the company will provide limited guidance for the December quarter” on its call with investors later this afternoon.

In a comment posted on the company’s investors relations site, Seagate warned that the industry will be significantly affected by the floods in Thailand.

“Seagate’s component and drive assembly factories in Thailand are operational, accessible to all of its employees and are running at full production. As previously reported, this is not the case for some of the component suppliers. Our business priority is to work with our external component suppliers, supporting their efforts to rebuild the supply chain as quickly as possible. We expect to experience significant impact to our production levels while our suppliers work to get their businesses up and running.

Given the severity of the situation and the extensive supply constraints caused by the disruptions, including those described by our primary competitor, the effects on our industry are likely to be substantial and extend over multiple quarters. As strengthen our supply chain and optimize our output, we are engaged to customers to re-align build schedules, product mix and to reset delivery expectations”

STX in late trading is up 11 cents, at $12.17.

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From: Sam10/20/2011 11:44:27 PM
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WDC Off 5%: Several Quarters To Fix Thai Flood Damage
By Tiernan Ray
October 19, 2011, 5:56 PM ET

Shares of disk drive maker Western Digital ( WDC) are down $1.19, or almost 5%, at $23.28, after the company this afternoon reported fiscal Q1 revenue and earnings per share comfortably ahead of expectations, but forecast the current quarter’s revenue well below consensus, and forecast a surprise net loss per share, thanks to damage to the company’s manufacturing facilities in Thailand from recent flooding.

Revenue in the three months ended in September rose 12.5%, year over year, to $2.7 billion, yielding EPS of $1.01.

During the company’s conference call with analysts this evening, CFO Wolfgang Nickl said the company can’t be sure how long it will take to recover from the Thailand floods that have shut down its operations there, and operations of suppliers:

We have shut down our Thailand factories and are at this point not in a position to establish when they will recommence operations. Furthermore, some of our key suppliers have ceased production as well and are significantly impacted. We are working diligently with them but at this point in time we do not yet fully understand the time line for their full recovery. Both of these conditions will likely continue into the March quarter and possibly beyond. We will be impacted negatively by the significant cost of efforts and infrastructure. We also expect to incur additional costs in restoring supply.

For the current quarter, the company said revenue will fall to $1.05 billion to $1.25 billion, yielding a net loss per share of $1.50 to $1.10.

Analysts have been modeling $2.57 billion and $1.05 per share.

Shares of competitor Seagate Technology ( STX) are up 20 cents, or 1.7%, at $12.25 in late trading.

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From: Sam10/24/2011 10:50:46 AM
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EC OKs Seagate acquisition of Samsung drive business
The European Commission concluded that a merger of the hard disk drive makers will not impede competition
By John Ribeiro
October 20, 2011 01:07 AM ET

IDG News Service - The European Commission approved on Wednesday the acquisition by Seagate Technology of the hard disk-drive business of Samsung Electronics, after concluding that there will still be enough players in the market after the acquisition.

Seagate said in April that it was acquiring the HDD business of Samsung Electronics for $1.4 billion in stock and cash, a month after competitor Western Digital said it would buy Hitachi Global Technologies, the hard drive unit of Hitachi, for $4.3 billion in cash and stock.

After the acquisition, Samsung will have about 9.6% ownership of Seagate, the companies said in April.

The EC opened in May separate investigations under the EU Merger Regulation into the two transactions. Seagate notified the commission of the proposed acquisition on April 19, a day earlier than Western Digital.

In view of a priority rule based on the date of notification, the commission assessed the Seagate-Samsung transaction on the basis of the market situation existing before the notification of the Western Digital-Hitachi transaction which is still pending.

In 2010, HDD shipments from both Seagate and Samsung added to 261.2 million units, giving the combined companies 40% of the HDD market, IHS iSuppli analyst Fang Zhang said in May in a blog post. Western Digital and Hitachi GST still held the number one position with a 50% share.

The main impact of the Seagate-Samsung transaction would be on the markets for 3.5-inch desktop hard disk drives and 2.5-inch mobile hard disk drives where the investigation revealed that Samsung is not a particularly strong competitor, the commission said in a statement.

Three strong suppliers would remain in the 3.5-inch desktop market, including the merged entity, Western Digital and Hitachi GST, the commission said. The 2.5-inch mobile market would have these three players and Toshiba.

"With at least three suppliers, customers will retain sufficient possibilities to switch suppliers," the commission said.

The commission also found that the removal of Samsung is not likely to lead to the risk of coordination among the remaining HDD suppliers, and that the proposed acquisition will also not affect the HDD heads business of Japan's TDK, as the merged entity will continue to buy a sufficient volume of components from TDK post-merger.

Western Digital said in May it was informed by the EC that the review of its proposed acquisition had entered a second phase.

The proposed acquisition, which is subject to several closing conditions, including the receipt of antitrust approvals in certain jurisdictions, is now expected to close in the fourth calendar quarter of 2011, Western Digital said. The company had earlier said the acquisition would close in the third quarter.

John Ribeiro covers outsourcing and general technology breaking news from India for The IDG News Service. Follow John on Twitter at @Johnribeiro. John's e-mail address is

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From: Sam10/27/2011 12:41:41 AM
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WD: Thai floods will force hard drive prices up
Shortages predicted, hundreds dead, fabs shutdown
By Paul Kunert
Posted in Storage, 20th October 2011 10:39 GMT

WD has warned disk drive shortages will linger well into 2012 and price rises are inevitable as it deals with the aftermath of the severe flooding in Thailand.

The country's worst floods in over half a century have so far claimed the lives of at least 317 people, affected more than nine million, and inundated 700,000 homes: 14,000 factories are under water and over 660,000 workers out of work.

John Coyne, CEO at WD, said in a conference call last night that the concentration of its supply chain factories in various flooded industry parks in Thailand means it will be impacted "greater than other HDD manufacturers".

He described resolution of the problems as a "multi-quarter challenge".

The situation deteriorated last weekend [1] as the rising waters breached WD's HDD assembly test and slider facilities where the lion share of its slider fabrication resides. Meanwhile sub-assembly partners have been flooded or closed.

These facilities will not open until the flooding recedes but the firm is looking at ways of extracting the water, working with suppliers to remove or transfer the production equipment to other sites, and upping build rates at plants in Malaysia and the Philippines.

Distie stock in the recently ended Q1 was in the four-week range and OEM jet hub inventories will be at about the two-week range. WD said its rivals tend to carry more inventory – around one week more – and that it's own finished goods on boats was roughly in the one-week range.

Coyne said this will afford his company a buffer for the current December quarter – though there will be significant constraint – but he added: "You would have to surmise that it would be more difficult in the next quarter than in the current quarter."

Pricing is set to rise due to a number of factors including lower economies of scale, and increased logistical costs as it ramps volumes and overtime payments. WD was unable to specify the hike in average sales prices at this point.

"[Those costs] will have to be recovered in the pricing and by the people that are doing those extraordinary efforts. And we will have to give some monies to the suppliers in order to be able to do that also. I think there'll be upward pressure on pricing right through the supply chain," said Coyne.

The whole flooding issue is expected to impact cash flow by $375m to $475m excluding one-time expenditures, incremental services and replacement equipment.

Coyne stressed it would be "fair and equitable to all branches of our business" in terms of OEM, retail and B2B channel customers, confirming "product will be allocated appropriately to the long-term established business partnerships".

Clearly the largest OEM customers are expecting supply, with EMC CFO David Goulden stating earlier this week: "We are not expecting supply chain constraints in Q4 and we're not expecting the pricing environment for our supply chain to change in Q4 either.

"Bear in mind, we tend to be our supplier's largest customer and get pretty good treatment when it comes to situations like this," he added.

In its Q1 ended 30 September, WD made profits of $239m (£151m) compared to $197m a year ago and sales grew 12.5 per cent to $2.7bn (£1.7bn).

Seagate, which has been evaluating [2] the impact of the flooding, will provide an update in its results tonight. ®


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From: JakeStraw11/12/2011 1:38:02 PM
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Shares Of Seagate Technology Could Triple In The Wake Of Thailand Floods

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From: JakeStraw11/12/2011 1:38:24 PM
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Deleted - Duplicate Post

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From: Sam1/26/2012 11:27:44 PM
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UPDATE: Seagate Adds $1 Billion To Stock Buyback, Raises Dividend

--Seagate adds $1 billion to its stock buyback

--Hard-disk drive maker also boosts quarterly dividend by 39%

--Seagate says it's committed to maximizing shareholder value

(Updates throughout with additional details.)

By Shara Tibken


NEW YORK -(Dow Jones)- Seagate Technology PLC ( STX) added $1 billion to its stock buyback plan and raised its quarterly dividend by 39%, joining a long list of companies digging into their cash holdings and returning value to shareholders.

"These actions by the board demonstrate our ongoing commitment to maximize shareholder value," Chief Executive Steve Luczo said. "The board and the management team remain confident in the company's ability to maintain a strong balance sheet and sustain exceptional cash generation from the business."

Shares, up 45% over the past 12 months through Thursday's close, gained 3% after hours, to $20.40.

While the hard-disk drive industry was hurt by severe flooding in Thailand, the facilities of Seagate remained intact, giving the company an advantage over rival Western Digital Corp. ( WDC) and allowing it to benefit from higher pricing and longer-term contracts with customers. Seagate, which reports fiscal second- quarter results next week, last month lifted its revenue outlook for the fiscal second and third quarters.

Seagate and other makers of disk drives have shared the negative fallout from the boom in sales of Apple Inc.'s (AAPL) iPad and other tablet computers, which store data on chips called flash memory rather than on magnetic disks. The new devices are believed to have hurt sales growth of consumer laptop computers, which are major users of disk drives.

Seagate had canceled its dividend in early 2009 as a result of the recession and declining demand for its products. The company restarted its quarterly dividend in April of last year, saying it reflected the strength of its balance sheet and confidence in the ability to generate free cash flow on a sustained basis.

Meanwhile, many technology companies eschew the notion of a dividend, arguing instead that resources are better spent on innovation. Neither Google Inc. ( GOOG) nor Apple Inc. (AAPL) pays a dividend, for example. But other mature tech giants have initiated dividends, including Oracle Corp. ( ORCL), Cisco Systems Inc. ( CSCO), Hewlett- Packard Co. ( HPQ) and Intel Corp. ( INTC).

Seagate already was paying a dividend above the tech industry norm. The new payout, at 25 cents a share versus a previous 18 cents, gives the dividend a yield of 5.1%. That compares to a 1.6% yield from International Business Machines Corp. ( IBM), 3.1% from chip giant Intel and 2.7% from Microsoft Corp. ( MSFT). The payout should cost Seagate about an extra $29 million a quarter.

Seagate, which has a market value of $9.2 billion, also has repurchased about $1.1 billion against its existing $2 billion authorization approved in November 2010. The remaining balance is expected to be utilized by the end of June.

The hard-disk drive maker expects to fund the dividend and share repurchases through a combination of cash on hand, future cash flow from operations and potential alternative sources of financing.

-By Shara Tibken, Dow Jones Newswires; 212-416-2189;

--Lauren Pollock contributed to this report.

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From: FUBHO3/2/2012 1:21:10 AM
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February 29, 2012 -- Seagate Technology LLC recaptured the lead in hard disk drive (HDD) shipments during Q4 2011, ousting Western Digital Corp. thanks to "a fortuitous accident in geography" that kept Seagate's Thailand HDD manufacturing plant out of the floods last year, said IHS.

Seagate shipped 46.9 million HDD units worldwide in Q4, compared to 28.5 million for Western Digital, which suffered heavy manufacturing losses in the floods, shows IHS iSuppli's Storage Space Market Brief. Seagate's Q4 shipments fell 8% from Q3, whereas Western Digital saw a 51% decline. HDD shipments from the industry’s top-5 manufacturers (Seagate, Western Digital, Toshiba, Hitachi Global Storage Technologies and Samsung Electronics) retreated sharply in the fourth quarter to 123.3 million units, down 30% from Q3.

This is Seagate's first time atop the rankings in 2 years. It is a long-standing leader in HDD revenues, however, as it supplies higher-margin products.

The new rankings mean that Seagate in the fourth quarter controlled 38% of overall HDD shipments, Western Digital 23%, Toshiba 16%, Hitachi GST 14%, and Samsung 9%.

Table. Worldwide HDD shipment ranking in Q4 2011 vs Q3 2011 (Millions of units). SOURCE: IHS iSuppli Research, February 2012.
CompanyQ4 shipment units (M)Q4 market share (%)Q3 shipment units (M)Q3 market share (%)
Western Digital28.52357.833
Hitachi GST17.21431.918

Seagate's ability to avoid the October Thai floods, which were the most destructive in 50 years, led to this top ranking, observed Fang Zhang, analyst for storage systems at IHS.

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