Western Digital was widely expected to take a huge hit from the Thailand flooding. Western Digital, which makes disk drives, couldn’t get components out of its suppliers, which were mostly in Thailand. Overall, Western Digital’s fiscal second quarter earnings held up well.
CEO John Coyne said:
We’ve made substantial progress in our mission to restore our manufacturing capacity in the aftermath of the historic flooding in Thailand. This is reflected in our Q2 financial performance announced earlier today, the continued ramp of our Thai HDD production capacity, and in the fact that we have now recommenced slider manufacturing which had been suspended since October 10.While much work remains to be done over the next several quarters to reach our pre-flood manufacturing capabilities, the progress thus far is ahead of our original expectations and is a tribute to the dedicated and effective actions of our employees, contractors and Thai government agencies, the efforts of our supply partners, and the support of our customers.
However, Coyne also noted that he expects hard drive shortages to persist throughout 2012 with the situation improving gradually. He added that he expects the hard drive industry to reach pre-flood quarterly builds toward the end of the June quarter. From there, the pipeline of components has to build back up. Normal levels won’t appear until 2013.
Coyne added that Western Digital has to revamp its supply chain. He said:
First, we will continue to focus on restoring our manufacturing and supply chain capacity to pre-flood levels. Second, in concert with our supply partners we are establishing the most robust and resilient supply chain of critical HDD components as we ramp our manufacturing capability back up. Third, during the flood recovery period we have maintained our focus and investment in development to ensure that we will be in a position to offer new products with advanced technology to sustain our leadership as we ramp our post-flood production.