October 28, 2014 / 8:29 PM / 3 years ago

Western Digital beats estimates on higher data storage demand

A Western Digital Corp's hard drive is seen at an electric appliance store in Tokyo, in this picture illustration taken March 8, 2011.Kim Kyung-Hoon

(Reuters) - Hard-disk drive maker Western Digital Corp (WDC.O) reported better-than-expected quarterly profit and revenue as businesses spent more upgrading computers or buying storage for servers and data centers.

Western Digital earned $2.10 per share, adjusting for items, in the first quarter ended Oct. 3. This was above the average analyst estimate of $2.03 per share.

Revenue rose 3.7 percent to $3.94 billion. Analysts had forecast $3.89 billion, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

"We were pleased to see strength and momentum in our capacity enterprise hard drive and flash platform solutions businesses," Chief Executive Steve Milligan said in a statement.

"Overall, we believe industry dynamics are stable in terms of supply and demand and inventory levels," he said.

Rival Seagate Technology Plc (STX.O) also reported better-than-expected quarterly results on Monday, helped by strong sales of storage products to businesses and an improving PC market.

Research firm IDC estimated this month that worldwide PC shipments had fallen 1.7 percent in the quarter ended September - less than what analysts had predicted.

More businesses in the United States and Europe upgraded computers or bought new machines in the quarter, IDC said.

Western Digital's net income fell to $423 million, or $1.76 per share, in the first quarter from $495 million, or $2.05 per share, a year earlier as sales and marketing costs rose by about 67 percent.

Hard-disk drive shipments rose 3.4 percent to 64.7 million units.

The company's shares closed at $93.08 on the Nasdaq on Tuesday. The stock has gained about 11 percent this year.

Reporting by Soham Chatterjee in Bangalore; Editing by Saumyadeb Chakrabarty

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