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O.C. BUSINESS PLUS | ORANGE COUNTY EARNINGS

Western Digital Trims Its Loss to Less Than Analysts' Estimates

April 27, 2001|Times Wire Services

Western Digital Corp., a Lake Forest maker of computer disk drives, posted a narrower fiscal third-quarter loss as it cut costs and improved its inventory management.

The loss from operations shrank to $3.4 million, or 2 cents a share, from a loss of $22.6 million, or 17 cents, a year earlier, the company said Thursday. Analysts had anticipated a loss of 5 cents a share in the recent quarter, according to a survey by First Call/Thompson Financial.

The operating loss a year ago excluded $62.8 million in charges related primarily to the company's exit from the high-end computer market and a $14.7 million gain on the disposition of investment securities.

Revenue for the three months ended March 30 rose 3.3% to $533.4 million.

Earlier this month, Western Digital said its net loss would be narrower than it had previously forecast. At the time, the company said it would report a net loss of $7 million to $10 million, or 4 to 6 cents a share, on revenue of about $530 million.

Western Digital and competitors have struggled with weakening demand for PCs, the primary use for their devices, and a drop in selling prices.

The results were announced after the close of regular U.S. trading. The stock, which has more than doubled this year, closed at $5.06, off 16 cents a share, on the New York Stock Exchange.

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