Seagate's net income tumbles 65 pct in 4th quarter

Seagate Technology fiscal 4th-qtr net income falls 65 pct; revenue drops on lower PC demand

Associated Press

CUPERTINO, Calif. (AP) -- Computer disk drive maker Seagate Technology PLC said Wednesday its net income sank 65 percent in its fiscal fourth quarter, weighed down by sharply lower revenue, reflecting a drop in personal computer demand.

Investors hammered the stock, which dropped nearly 6 percent in midday trading.

Like other companies in the PC industry, Seagate is feeling the impact of a sharp drop in demand as consumers switch to tablets and smartphones. Research firms IDC and Gartner said earlier this month that global PC shipments fell 11 percent in the April-to-June quarter.

Seagate CEO Steve Luczo called this "a time of change, uncertainty and opportunity" in a statement.

"Looking ahead, we believe the market trends of data growth driven by cloud, mobile and open source advancement will present new and significant opportunities for Seagate," Luczo said.

The company reported net income of $348 million, or 94 cents per share, for the three months ended June 28. That compares with net income of $1.01 billion, or $2.37 per share, in the prior-year quarter.

Excluding the impact of revenue-related costs, amortization and other one-time items, earnings amounted to $1.20 per share.

On that basis, the latest results edged analysts' consensus forecast for earnings of $1.19 per share, according to FactSet.

Revenue plunged 24 percent to $3.43 billion from $4.48 billion, but matched analysts' expectations.

For the full fiscal year, Seagate reported net income of $1.84 billion, or $4.81 per share, compared with net income of $2.86 billion, or $6.49 per share, the year before. Revenue slipped to $14.35 billion from $14.94 billion.

The results for both the fourth quarter and fiscal year reflect a 13 percent drop in the number of outstanding shares, which boosted the most recent earnings per-share.

Seagate's board declared a quarterly dividend of 38 cents per share that will be payable on Aug. 21 to shareholders of record on Aug. 7.

The company also said that it has received board authorization to buy back up to $2.5 billion shares. All told, the company is cleared to buy back $3.3 billion in shares.

Seagate shares fell $2.59, or 5.7 percent, to $42.72 in midday trading after earlier dropping as low as $40.80 The stock is still up about 40 percent this year.

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