Western Digital’s Q4 2012 Earnings Beat Forecast: $4.8B in Revenue, Earnings of $2.87 Per Share, 71M Drives Shipped

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Western Digital just reported its earnings for its fourth financial quarter of 2012. The company reported revenue of 4.8$ billions and earnings per share of $2.87. On a non-GAAP basis, net income was $872 million, or $3.35 per share. That’s far better than what most analysts expected and also better than the company’s own guidance of $4.2 billion to $4.4 billion in revenue. The consensus was that Western Digital would report revenue around $4.25 billion and earnings of $2.47 per share. In the year-ago-quarter, the company reported earnings of $0.67 per share.

For the full fiscal year, Western Digital reported revenue of $12.5 billion and net income of $1.6 billion, or $6.58 per share for fiscal year 2012, compared to fiscal 2011 revenue of $9.5 billion and net income of $726 million, or $3.09 per share.

The company’s fortunes over the last few quarter were, of course, closely linked to the flooding in Thailand last year. In April, when the company announced its last quarterly earnings, the company’s CEO John Coyne announced that Western Digital had mostly recovered from the Thailand floods. The company restarted production at its first factory in Thailand last December, but the effects of the disaster on the industry continue to linger. Besides the flooding, the overall weakness in the PC market that a number of other companies cited in their earnings releases this month also directly affected hard drive sales, but the company still shipped 71 million hard drives in the last quarter (54 million of those were for laptops and 8 million went to enterprise customers).

“Fiscal 2012 was one of the most challenging and exciting years in our 42-year history,” said John Coyne, chief executive officer. “While responding to two major natural disasters and completing the largest acquisition in the history of the industry, we achieved year-over-year revenue growth of 31 percent and more than doubled earnings per share.”