Western Digital Earnings Leap

Western Digital Corp. (NASDAQ: WDC) reported fiscal first quarter 2013 results after markets closed today. For the quarter, the hard drive maker posted adjusted diluted earnings per share (EPS) of $2.36 on revenues of $4 billion. In the same period a year ago, the company reported EPS of $1.10 on revenues of $2.7 billion. Third-quarter results compare to the Thomson Reuters consensus estimates for EPS of $2.30 and $3.98 billion in revenues.

On a GAAP basis, the company reported EPS of $2.06.

The company's CEO said:

While the macroeconomic environment is dampening near term demand, we remain confident in the continued long-term growth in the creation, storage and management of digital content.

Gross margins more than doubled, from $541 million to $1.2 billion, or about 29.6%. Operating income also more than doubled, from $259 million in the same period a year ago to $592 million this year.

Western Digital did not provide any information on guidance in the press release, but that is likely to come in the conference call scheduled for 5:00 p.m. ET today. The consensus estimate for second fiscal quarter EPS calls for $2.43 on revenue of $4.13 billion. The consensus estimate for full-year EPS is $8.73 on revenue of $15.68 billion

The company's major competitor, Seagate Technology plc (NASDAQ: STX), is scheduled to report earnings next week. The consensus estimates call for EPS of $1.69 on revenues of $3.77 billion.

Western Digital's shares are up 3.5% in after-hours trading at $36.49 in a 52-week range is $24.96 to $45.94. Thomson Reuters had a consensus analyst price target of around $46.30 before today's report.

Paul Ausick

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