Two quarters ago, it was shown that Western Digital had wrested the crown of largest supplier of hard drives from perennial king Seagate. It looks like Seagate will no longer be holding on to that crown if W-D has anything to say, as once again, last quarter, Western Digital has outdone Seagate in delivered product.

[TechConnect]

In the fourth quarter of fiscal 2010, which ended on July 2nd, Western Digital has managed to keep the hard drive crown it pulled from Seagate in Q3 as it shipped no less than 49.7 million units, whereas its arch-rival ‘only’ sold 46.8 million units.

In Q4 Western Digital’s revenue was of $2.4 billion, up from $1.9 billion a year ago while the net income was $265 million or $1.13 per share. Analysts were expecting earnings per share to reach $1.35 but increased competition and a lower demand have taken their toll on WD’s numbers.

“Despite softer than anticipated June quarter demand, fiscal year 2010 was another year of significant growth and profitability for Western Digital,” said John Coyne, president and chief executive officer. “The long-term demand for low-cost, high-volume storage driven by the proliferation of data and content-hungry consumer and commercial devices remains strong. With our focus on customer needs, quality, low cost, and high asset efficiency in the highest growth markets, we believe WD is well positioned to continue to generate growth on a sustained and profitable basis.”

Western Digital expects a revenue for the current quarter of $2.35 billion to $2.45 billion.

The king is dead, long live the [new] king. Whatever Western Digital is doing to clobber Seagate, it is working. It used to be that 8 of 10 name brand PCs had Seagate drives as delivered. That clearly is no longer so, as the initial sales of PCs is where the bulk of sales takes place.  I find that to be a great thing, as in my experience W-D drives nearly always outperform their Seagate equivalents. Perhaps Seagate will move to not only increase sales, but also performance, which will help in their pursuit of the top once again.

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Though SSDs are on the rise, sales of standard spinning hard drives increase from every manufacturer, W-D is growing its sales faster than most.


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