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Western Digital today reported its financial results for the third quarter of its fiscal 2003. Despite of the weak market, the company not only returned to profitability, but also increased its sales and unit shipments.

For the described period revenue achieved $706 million on unit shipments of approximately 10.3 million. Net income for WD's third fiscal quarter ended March 28, 2003 was $54.5 million, or $.26 per share. These results represent year-over-year revenue growth of 19% and net income growth of 184% on a 27% increase in unit shipments. A year ago in the March 2002 quarter, Western Digital produced revenue of $595 million, shipped 8.1 million units and earned $19.2 million, or $.10 per share. The year-ago results included tax benefits and investment gains totaling $4.0 million.

Average selling prices were $68 in the March 2003 quarter, down $5 from the unusually strong December quarter, but essentially flat with both the September and June quarters of calendar 2002. The gross margin and operating margin in the March 2003 quarter were 17.3 percent and 8.1 percent, respectively.

The Company generated $99 million in cash flow from operations in the third quarter of its fiscal 2003 reflecting balanced linearity of shipments and solid asset management. The cash balance at quarter's end totaled $347 million, exceeding the cash position at the end of December, despite a cash payment of $74 million in the quarter, which retired substantially all of the Company's remaining convertible debt.

It looks like storage business is recovering since not only WD, but also Seagate recently reported profits. Unfortunately, WD said nearly nothing about production ramp of HDDs based on 80GB platters. 

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