Hutchinson Technology, Inc. (HTCH)
F4Q2011 Earnings Conference Call
November 1, 2011 5:00 PM ET
Chuck Ives – Director, IR & Treasurer
Wayne Fortun – CEO
Rick Penn – President, Disk Drive Components Division
Dave Radloff – CFO
Sherri Scribner – Deutsche Bank
Rich Hoogly [ph] - B&M Company [ph]
Mark Miller – Noble Financial
Tom Lewis – High Road Value Research
Eric Ruebel – MTR Securities
Franklin Leong – Silver Lake Credit
Good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen. Thank you for standing by. Welcome to the Hutchinson Technology’s fourth quarter results conference call.
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I would now like to turn the conference over to Chuck Ives, Director of Investor Relations and Treasurer. Go ahead, sir.
Good afternoon, everyone. Welcome to our fourth quarter results conference call. On the call with me today are Wayne Fortun, our Chief Executive Officer; Rick Penn, President of our Disk Drive Components Division; and Dave Radloff, our Chief Financial Officer.
Wayne will provide an overview of the business, Rick will provide an update on our Disk Drive Components Division, and Dave will speak to our financial results and guidance.
As a reminder, we will be providing forward-looking information on demand for and shipments of disk drives and the company's products, product mix, pricing, production capabilities, assembly operations in Thailand, the impact of flooding in Thailand, our insurance coverage and claims, capital spending, product costs, operating expenses, our BioMeasurement Division's results, product commercialization and adoption, manufacturing consolidation and restructuring, and the company's cost structure, operating performance, cash position and financial results.
These forward-looking statements involve risks and uncertainties as they are based on our current expectations. Our actual results could differ materially as a result of several factors that are described in our periodic reports on file with the SEC.
In connection with the adoption of SEC rules governing fair disclosure, the company provides financial information and projections only through means that are designed to provide broad distribution of the information to the public. The company will not make projections or provide material non-public information through any other means.
We issued our fourth quarter results announcement just after the market close this afternoon and it is now posted on our website at, www.htch.com. I'll turn the call over to Wayne now for his opening remarks.
Thanks, Chuck. Good afternoon, everyone and thank you for joining us today. As all of you who follow disk drive industry know the severe flooding in Thailand has created substantial disruption and uncertainty for the entire hard disk drive industry. Our employees in Thailand have been deeply impacted by the flooding and our sympathies are with them and their families as they cope with this disaster.
As we reported previously we suspended our operations in Thailand in the second week of October and floodwaters inundated our plant and the large industrial park that our plant resides in shortly thereafter.
We fully intend to resume operations in Thailand. Our assembly operation there was meeting or exceeding all of our expectations for volume, quality and costs. It remains integral to our plan to be the industry's lowest cost producer of suspension assemblies.
Based on the information we currently have, we expect it will be multiple quarters before we are fully operational in Thailand again. However, thanks to extraordinary efforts by our employees both abroad and here in the U.S. we’ve been able to respond to the unprecedented flooding and leverage our available assembly capacity and vertically integrated components operations in the U.S. to meet current levels of customer demand despite the temporary loss of our assembly capacity in Thailand.
Before we can assess the financial impact of our recovery effort in any insurance proceeds, we need the floodwaters to recede so we can fully evaluate the damage to our operations in Thailand. This is expected to take several weeks.
In addition to the impact on our operations, the flooding in Thailand is temporarily suppressing overall production capacity of the hard disk drive supply chain and this is resulting in a material decrease in our suspension assembly demand.
Now, I’ll turn it over to Rick for a recap of the disk drive components division’s fourth quarter.
Thanks, Wayne. During our fiscal 2011 fourth quarter, we shipped 127.4 million suspension assemblies, up 8% from 117.9 million in the preceding quarter. For the quarter, our mix of products shipped was follows. Suspensions for 3.5-inch ATA applications increased 3% sequentially and accounted for 55% of our shipments compared with 58% in the preceding quarter.
Shipments for mobile applications increased 51% sequentially and accounted for 27% of our shipments, up from 90% in the preceding quarter, and shipments for enterprise applications decreased 16% sequentially and accounted for 18% of our shipments compared to a 23% in the preceding quarter.
Average selling price in the fourth quarter was $0.58, compared with $0.59 in the preceding quarter. Our fourth quarter shipments of TSA+ suspensions increased 27% sequentially to 76.2 million and accounted for 60% of our fourth quarter shipments, compared with 51% in the preceding quarter.
And despite a sequential reduction in flexure production, our TSA+ cost per flexure declined 7% in the fourth quarter, as we successfully consolidated our TSA+ equipment into our Eau Claire operations.