HDD maker Seagate revised its internal expectations this week to better reflect the operational and financial impact from recent Thailand flooding. The company remains poised to snatch the market leader position from rival Western Digital, but still has its own problems to deal with.
Seagate reaffirmed that an industry-wide recovery won’t happen over night. Weeks of flooding across several areas in Thailand means most HDD shipments will be constrained well into 2012.
“The company’s component and disk drive factories in Thailand have not been directly affected by the flood,” read a forward-looking statement issued by Seagate. “However, the company’s ability to manufacture hard disk drives has been impacted due to external component supply constraints.”
Additional effects from Seagate’s acquisition of Samsung’s HDD branch in April and last week’s $525 million arbitration victory against Western Digital over an employee sharing cloak-and-dagger trade secrets were not considered in the revised outlook, it clarified. The company added that it wants to make the Samsung acquisition official before 2012.
Seagate named March as a possible turning point when HDD shipments will better resemble “pre-flood levels,” but in December that figure will hover around 43 million. Previous estimations placed that number as low as 41 million – down from last quarter’s 50 million figure. Competitor Western Digital was hit hardest, with expected shipments from the company cut by more than half.
Earlier this month, Seagate CEO Stephen Luczo told Bloomberg that a full recovery would take until the end of next year. Better late than never. HDD prices skyrocketed following the devastating floods, though some insiders believe they will drop by next month.