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Seagate posts good-ish quarter, fuels Wall Street jitters

Ain't no pleasing some folk

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Seagate's fiscal '08 second quarter net income nearly tripled from a year ago and revenue jumped 14 per cent.

Unit shipments hit 50 million, up 20 per cent year-over-year, on the back of strong demand from digital equipment manufacturers.

Freckle-faced and brimming with pride, Seagate came skipping home to investors today clutching its homework like a rare treasure. But investors, like over-expectant parents, are rarely satisfied.

Revenue was $3.42bn for the quarter, short of the $3.49bn Wall Street was looking for. An admissible "B" in an "A+" sort of family.

"Seagate," the investors said coolly today, sitting the hard drive manufacturer down on the living room couch. "We aren't angry at you...just... disappointed."

Sometimes that hurts more than shouting. "I'll do better next quarter. I promise!"

Net income was $403m for the quarter ended Dec. 28, compared with $140m a year earlier. The results included $27m restructuring charges and $31m from the company's acquisitions of Maxtor, EVault and MetaLINCS.

Seagate expects Q3 revenue in the range of $3.2bn to $3.3bn.

"At the mid-point, this guidance represents a 15 per cent revenue increase year-over-year," the company said.

The companyhasn't seen evidence that OEMs are cutting orders because of a slowing US economy. But investors are clearly looking for a reason to scamper. At the market's close, Seagate stock was down six per cent. ®

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