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Seagate’s Second-Quarter Sales of $3.6 Billion Exceeded Forecast

Seagate Technology Plc said sales rose to at least $3.6 billion in the fiscal second quarter, exceeding an earlier forecast for $3.5 billion as the company maintained share in the computer hard-drive market.

Gross margin, a measure of profitability, was more than 27 percent in the three months through Dec. 28, Dublin-based Seagate said yesterday in a statement. The company previously had forecast gross margin at the low end of a range of 27 percent to 32 percent. Analysts had estimated sales of $3.52 billion, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

The higher projection contrasts with the outlook last year, when Seagate reduced growth forecasts for some periods. The company suffered from lessening demand for personal computers and related components amid economic weakness and a shift toward mobile devices, such as tablets, that mainly don’t require hard drives. Unit shipments were 58 million last quarter, Seagate said yesterday.

Shares rose to $32.04 in late trading yesterday after closing at $31.39 in New York. Seagate climbed 85 percent last year.

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