Western Digital Widens the Gap with Seagate as Hard Disk Drive Market Shrinks

WD Outsells Seagate Almost in Every Hard Disk Drive Market Segment

by Anton Shilov
07/25/2013 | 09:55 PM

Western Digital Corp. managed to outsell its arch-rival Seagate Technology by over six million hard disk drive units in the second calendar quarter of 2013 (which equals to Q4 FY2013 of Seagate and WD) as the total available market of HDDs contracted by 2% - 3%, to roughly 132 – 133 million of units. Still, Seagate continues to lead lucrative enterprise hard drive market as well as higher average selling prices.


Traditionally, sales of hard disk drives in the second calendar quarter are up by 3% - 7% sequentially. However, this year the declining market of personal computers significantly affected the markets of PC components and the hard drive market contracted by 2% - 3%, to approximately 132 – 133 million of units in the quarter. Not surprising that shipments of hard disk drives also lowered at Seagate, Toshiba and Western Digital. The latter managed to report the lowest decline among all three manufacturers.

The Gap Is Closing

During the second quarter of 2013, Seagate sold around 53.8 million of hard drives in total with average capacity of 855GB per drive and with approximately $63.5 average selling price, according to the company’s financial report. Seagate’s unit shipments declined by 1.9 million.

Western Digital managed to sell 59.896 hard drives in calendar Q2 2013 (Q4 FY2013), or about 280 thousand lower than in the previous quarter. Average capacity of a WD HDD was 797GB, average selling price was circa $60 per unit, based on financial report by the company

Toshiba Corp. most likely shipped around 19 million hard disk drives during the quarter, which is around one million units lower than in Q1 2013.

According to detailed financial reports by Seagate and Western Digital, the latter outsells the former on almost all the markets where they compete, including client hard drive and non-compute hard drives (e.g., external or CE storage), but not on the market of enterprise hard drives. But the gap is closing. In the second quarter Seagate shipped 8.2 million enterprise-class HDDs, whereas Western Digital sold 7.897 enterprise-class hard drives.

Seagate's Financial Results

During the fourth quarter, Seagate reported revenue of approximately $3.4 billion, gross margin of 27.4%, net income of $348 million and diluted earnings per share of $0.94. For the fiscal year ended June 28, 2013, on a GAAP basis Seagate reported revenue of $14.4 billion, gross margin of 27.5%, net income of $1.8 billion and diluted earnings per share of $4.81. 

Western Digital's Results

For its fourth fiscal quarter ended June 28, 2013, Western Digital reported revenue of $3.7 billion, hard-drive shipments of 59.9 million and net income of $416 million, or $1.71 per share. For the fiscal year 2013, Western Digital reported revenue of $15.4 billion and net income of $1.7 billion, or $6.75 per share for fiscal year 2013, compared to fiscal 2012 revenue of $12.5 billion and net income of $1.6 billion, or $6.58 per share.