Seagate posts 2012 financials, possibly eyeing OCZ acquisition


— 10:45 AM on August 1, 2012

Seagate's 2012 fiscal year has ended, and the company made a tidy profit. Over the last 12 months, the hard drive maker raked in profits of $2.9 billion on revenues of $14.9 billion. Both figures are substantial increases over 2011, when Seagate made $511 million off $11 billion in revenue. The firm's gross margin was just 19.6% in 2011, but it rose to 31.4% for 2012.

Although Seagate made more money this year, it failed to meet its targets for the fourth quarter. Chairman and CEO Steve Luczo blamed the shortfall on an "isolated supplier issue" that affected one of Seagate's enterprise-class hard drives. The supplementary commentary (PDF) says this issue cost Seagate 1.5 million "high-margin" drive sales in the fourth quarter. Luczo also mentioned the industry's faster recovery from the Thailand flooding as a reason for Seagate's missed targets. Looks like the company didn't expect rival Western Digital to rebound so strongly.

Solid-state drives aren't a big part of Seagate's business, but that could soon change. Xbit Labs is reporting that former Micron General Manager of Enterprise SSDs Gary Gentry has re-joined Seagate to head up its SSD division.

The firm is reportedly looking to acquire a smaller SSD maker with enterprise credentials, as well. Rumor has it OCZ is in Seagate's crosshairs. According to Reuters, Seagate CFO Pat O'Malley said the following when asked about a potential OCZ acquisition: "We look at all technology product providers (for M&A) but what I would say is that on the enterprise SSDs, there's probably only one of them that really makes any significant money." O'Malley declined to comment on OCZ specifically, stating, "We don't do any comments on official policy on M&A until it's done." Interesting.

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