Is Seagate Technology Getting Back on Track?

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Seagate Technology PLC (NASDAQ: STX) released its fiscal first-quarter financial results before the markets opened on Monday. The company has seen a somewhat slow 2017 despite a rally in the tech sector and markets hitting new highs, but with the first quarter of its new fiscal year in the books, Seagate looks like it is getting back on track.

The company said that it had $0.96 in earnings per share (EPS) and $2.6 billion in revenue. That compared with consensus estimates from Thomson Reuters of $0.85 in EPS and revenue of $2.52 billion. In the same period of last year, Seagate posted EPS of $0.99 and $2.8 billion in revenue.

Before the report, Seagate had underperformed the U.S. broad markets with the stock down about 8.5% year to date. Over the past 52 weeks, the stock is more or less flat.

In its first quarter, Seagate generated $237 million in cash flow from operations and returned approximately $350 million to shareholders in the form of dividends and share repurchases. On the books, its cash and cash equivalents totaled $2.29 billion at the end of the quarter, down from $2.54 billion in the same period from last year.

The board of directors approved a quarterly cash dividend of $0.63 per share, which will be payable on January 3, 2018, to shareholders of record as of the close of business on December 20, 2017.

Dave Mosley, Seagate’s CEO, commented:

The results of our performance this quarter reflect solid execution and market demand for our storage product portfolio. Seagate delivered record levels of exabyte shipments and generated sequential growth in revenue and profit. As the demand for storage continues to benefit from the proliferation of data, Seagate is in a strong position to grow its businesses, improve profitability and continue with its shareholder-return objectives.

Shares of Seagate closed Friday at $34.94, with a consensus analyst price target of $36.95 and a 52-week range of $30.60 to $50.96. Following the release of the earnings report, the stock was up over 6% at $37.19 in early trading indications Monday.