Seagate warns of slowing growth

Hard drive maker Seagate is predicting that its first quarter revenue will be below estimates thanks to slowing PC sales and lower-than-expected growth in its enterprise business.

Seagate said in a statement that it expects first-quarter sales of about $4 billion, which is less than the $4.62 billion expected by Wall Street.

In a conference call to analysts, Chief Executive Steve Luczo muttered about slowing economic growth and shaky sales of PCs.

As a result the company’s shares fell nine percent.

The company’s fourth-quarter results were below expectations as a supplier problem affected shipments.

Still, it was not all gloomy. The company’s profit rose to $1.01 billion from $119 million, a year earlier. Revenue jumped 57 percent to $4.48 billion.

But sadly this was wiped out by the fact that Wall Street expected the company to do a lot better. A Reuters poll of analysts suggests that most expected the company to make $4.56 billion.

Part of Seagate’s problem is that it is shipping less hard disks to high-margin enterprise customers.

It must also be a little concerned about its main rival Western Digital, which trumped expectations and guided a strong fiscal 2013 on the back of sales to the enterprise.