The Information Technology 100
The Big Kahuna of the disk-drive market may have finally put to rest one of the industry's ongoing debates: Is vertical integration good? In the past, critics said Seagate's insistence on making all the components, such as magnetic heads, was too costly and time-consuming. But two years after emerging from a leveraged buyout as a public company once again, Seagate has the biggest economies of scale, the broadest product line, and is now in the driver's seat as demand for disk drives grows.
That helped Seagate post revenue growth of 10%, to $5.8 billion, through the first three quarters of its fiscal year -- impressive, given the relentless pricing pressure in the disk-drive business. Indeed, unit shipments jumped 28% in its most recent quarter. There's excitement ahead, too. Seagate is strong in consumer markets, where many believe that hundreds of millions of cell-phones will soon have drives to handle home videos and digital music. And then there's the TV crowd that's starting to store terabytes worth of HDTV-quality flicks. The Big Kahuna could get bigger yet.
|Return on Equity||17.3%|
|Industry||COMPUTERS AND PERIPHERALS|
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All figures are for the most recent available 12 months.
* Latest available data for the 12-month period ended Dec. 31, Jan. 31, Feb. 29, Mar. 31, or Apr. 30. For companies that do not report quarterly, the most recent annual data were used.
Data provided by Standard & Poor's Compustat, BusinessWeek
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