How do you sell fewer hard drives but make more profit? Let's ask ... Western Digital

Good trick – it eluded Seagate

Western Digital's third quarter of fiscal 2015, ended April 3, raked in sales of US$3.55bn – that's 4.1 per cent down on the year-ago quarter, and 8.7 per cent less than the previous quarter.

It banked a profit of US$384m; that figure was US$375m a year ago, so that's a 2.4 per cent gain. WD recorded a profit of US$460m in the previous quarter, so that's a 16.5 per cent fall sequentially.


WD revenues and net income to Q3 fy2015

It was the economy wot done it; Steve Milligan's canned quote was a tad downbeat for a president and CEO: "I am satisfied with our execution and results in light of current PC demand challenges that were largely driven by weak macro-economic conditions.

"We delivered a solidly profitable quarter with continued strong cash generation, improved average selling price and healthy gross margins."

WD shipped 52.53 million drives in the quarter, down from 60.4 million a year ago, which is a 13 per cent drop. Based on profits and drive units shipped, it banked $7.30 per drive compared to $6.20 per drive in the latest quarter. In terms of revenue, each drive brought in $67 compared to $62 this time last year.

WD did slightly better revenue-wise than Seagate in this quarter as the chart shows:


Profit-wise, the picture favours WD strongly. Seagate's profits tumbled, WD's rose. Cue Milligan smiling and Seagate boss Steve Luczo down at mouth. ®

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