Western Digital Announces Strong End of Year, Fiscal 2Q Earnings

Western Digital [NASDAQ:WDC] today announced their earnings for the second fiscal quarter of 2013 (2Q 2013), or the fourth calendar quarter (4Q 2012). They reported revenues of $3.8 billion and non-GAAP net incomes of $513 million, resulting in an EPS of $2.09 per share. The same quarter a year ago, WD reported revenue of $2.0 billion and net income of $145 million, or earnings of $0.61 per share. However, the same quarter a year ago, also was during the peak of the Thai Floods. Shortly after the floods, we did an analysis of the hard drive market following the Thai Floods speaking about the impact it would have on the hard drive market. It looks like Western Digital did indeed more than rebound with these earnings.

Looking at their GAAP earnings results, WDC reported $335 million in profit or an EPS of $1.36. This is actually weaker than the previous three quarters, however, double the profit that WDC reported in the same quarter a year ago. As we noted earlier, that quarter was an abnormal one due to the Thai Floods. Additionally, the majority of 2012 (the previous three quarters) were marked by artificially high hard drive prices, which drove stratospheric drive prices. These prices have finally settled down to somewhat reasonable levels as the channel is no longer starved for drives and the commodity price of drives has come down. Needless to say, The Thai Floods were a disastrous calamity for the people of Thailand and the IT industry, however, Seagate and Western Digital actually made off quite well.

Looking at calendar 2012, Western Digital actually raked in about $2 billion in profits. With the PC market evolving and drives getting ever smaller, it looks like Western Digital is positioning itself as a company that will continue to be a market leader and to expand into places where they can continue to make money.