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Seagate says storage demand better than expected

What could possibly go wrong this quarter?

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Seagate surprised itself in the last quarter by shipping 47 million disk drives, more than it had actually planned for.

The storage vendor's results for the first quarter ending 28 September showed revenues up 17.6 per cent to $3.3bn, with net income leaping from $19m last year to $355m. This turned in earnings per share of $0.64.

CEO Bill Watkins said as well as its "unique platform and commitment to innovation" (of course) it had benefited from favourable industry conditions, with "greater unit demand than expected".

Watkins clearly expects favourable conditions to continue into the current quarter, predicting revenues of $3.4bn to $3.5bn, with income per share of $0.69 to $0.70. Wall Street was expecting $0.69 on revenues of $3.4bn.

Seagate was not the only components supplier to see better than expected shipments in the just ended quarter. Intel did better than expected too. However, this has left industry watchers wondering if demand for PCs really is better than expected or if manufacturers are ramping up inventories, after some were caught out by shortages earlier this year.

If it's the latter, the only thing that could possibly throw a spanner in the works is for buyers to decide that this is probably not the quarter to be lashing out on a flash new PC. But there's no reason to assume people might get cold feet this quarter. Is there? ®

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