Hutchinson Technology (HTCH) Suspension Assembly Business Approaches Profitability in Data Storage
February 11, 2013
Hutchinson Technology (HTCH) may return to profitability after implementing a series of cost-reduction measures, and the stock could get closer to its former glory of $25 per share and 55% market share of the suspension-assembly market for data storage, says Mark Miller, Senior Research Analyst at Noble Financial Group, Inc.
“The firm has suffered several years of losses, and its share is down to 22%. Hutchinson used to make $2 a share. The stock is up 50% over the last six or seven months, the thought being that they have made significant cost cuts which, in combination with potential share gains via new programs and higher component counts, could take them to profitability,” Miller said.
The industry is moving toward a new type of suspension called dual-stage actuator, where Hutchinson is growing market share. The industry, Miller says, is also increasing the the drive platter count, and the number of suspensions per drive is increasing accordingly, since areal density growth is falling behind the growth in demand storage.
“These are the opportunities for Hutchinson to get up to this breakeven level of 125 million units in volume without drive shipments growing much. It’s still a very risky stock. Cash is low, but they’ve done a good job conserving it. It’s not for the faint of heart, but it is quite possible they could turn around,” Miller said.
Miller Bio included on the Wall Street Transcript article. It appears he is one of the few drive Analysts who has actually worked in the industry:
Mark Miller joined Noble Financial as its Senior Research Analyst in the technology sector covering enterprise hardware. With more than 35 years’ combined experience, he offers a unique industry perspective with past positions at 3M, NASA, Seagate, Control Data and firms now part of Western Digital. His technical experience included 40 publications and seven patents. In addition, Mr. Miller is an accomplished analyst, recognized for the performance of his recommendations in the Wall Street Journal's "Best on the Street" annual survey in 2005, 2006, and 2012 and by Forbes/StarMine as an All-Star Analyst for the accuracy of his earnings estimations in 2006. Starmine also ranked him number one for his recommendations in the Electronic Equipment and Instruments segment last year. His coverage areas include data storage, semiconductor equipment, lasers, photonics and test equipment. Mr. Miller received his Bachelor in Physics from Johns Hopkins University, was a graduate instructor at Johns Hopkins University, holds an M.S., and was a Ph.D. Candidate in Physics at the University of Maryland. Mr. Miller also earned an M.B.A. in finance and marketing from the University of Minnesota, Carlson School of Management where he was elected to membership in the beta-gamma-sigma national business honorary society.