In a research report filed after HTCH reported, Noble found a glimmer of hope for HTCH:
1. Normalized to a 13 week quarter, suspension shipments fell 2% sequentially versus an 11% drop in drive shipments. This indicates HTCH is gaining traction in new & existing programs.
2. Nine new programs ramping this year versus 4 in 2012, offer share gain opportunities.
3. Ramp of higher ASP dual stage actuators
4. Increasing number of platters and suspensions per drive.
Further cost cuts are seen reducing quarterly breakeven shipment level to 125 million units. Expect up to 105 million suspension to be shipped this quarter. So, despite an expected flat drive TAM through June, 2013, HTCH can still gain units via points #1 through 4 above. An improvement in the macro economy and the roll out of Windows 8 could raise the drive shipment outlook.
As WDC fully integrates HGST in 18 months, HTCH could grab a significant share of the 60 million suspensions/quarter that HGST is now buying from HTCH's competitors.
As its major suspension supplier, do you think WDC really wants to see HTCH disappear?