Earnings Up for Maxtor, Seagate

The two drive makers report improved quarterly earnings; Quantum's earnings due Thursday.

Drive makers Maxtor Corp. and Seagate Technology LLC both reported improved quarterly earnings today.

Maxtor, of Milpitas, Calif., earned $29.9 million on $1.066 billion in revenue for the third quarter of 2003, up from $6.2 million on $910.9 million last quarter, and from a $163.6 million loss on $819.7 million in revenue a year ago.

Seagate made $198 million on $1.74 billion in revenue for its first quarter of 2004, compared with $160 million on $1.55 billion in revenue last quarter, and $110 million on $1.58 billion in revenue last year.

The hard drive industry in general, including Fujitsu Ltd., Hitachi Global Storage Technologies Inc. and Quantum Corp., has recently benefited from trends in disk-based backup and virtual tape, storage for consumer electronics, and a slight upturn in overall core enterprise storage, industry and Wall Street analysts have said.

"We are very pleased with the companys third quarter financial performance," Maxtor CEO and President Paul Tufano said in a prepared statement. "We shipped a record 14.9 million hard disk drives." Seagate shipped 21.2 million drives, officials of Scotts Valley, Calif. said. "During the September quarter we extended our lead in the personal storage market, which includes desktop and consumer electronics applications, and maintained the top position in the enterprise space. We introduced a 100GB/platter drive and a Seagate branded external hard drive for the retail market and are better positioned to supply the growing demand for storage-intensive PC and consumer applications," said Steve Luczo, Seagates chairman and CEO, also in a prepared statement.

"This quarters performance underscores Seagates ability to produce excellent operating results in a fast-moving, technically complex and highly competitive hard disc drive marketplace," he said.

Maxtor will host a conference call at 5:30 p.m. ET today, following Seagates 5 p.m. call, officials said. Quantum will report its earnings tomorrow, officials said.