Seagate Technology's stock (STX) may not be as “exciting” or well known as Apple (AAPL), Google (GOOG) or Amazon.com (AMZN), but with a net profit margin of 19.16% in 2012, it is a force to be reckoned with.
The company was founded in 1979 and is considered the leading provider of storage solutions and hard drives. Its products are used in many platforms including laptops, notebooks, media sharing on social networks and on the servers that support large enterprise data centers.
Seagate's stock price soared in 2012; as did its sales.
Seagate had nothing short of a truly remarkable year in 2012 with its stock price rising 85%, putting it in the number 2 position among S&P 500 tech stocks. Seagate’s Q4 2012 sales figures were so impressive that the data-storage giant proceeded to spill the beans on Tuesday, 1/8/2013, a full three weeks prior to when the full earnings report will be released.
The sales growth rate in 2012 has made investors excited about the stock. In the first quarter (Q1) of 2012, the company’s revenue growth rate was 65.12% followed by 56.75% in the second quarter (Q2).
Another impressive figure was STX’s 66.89% Return on Average Equity (ROAE) rate, which reflects how profitable the company is. The EPS of 7.55 and P/E ratio of 4.40 further supports the view that Seagate is trading at a discount and there should be more market gains to come in 2013.
At the end of last year, the company announced a cash dividend of $0.38 per share for its second fiscal quarter 2013. “Seagate is confident in its ability to generate strong and sustainable operating cash flow. The increase in our quarterly dividend payment reflects our commitment to returning capital to our shareholders while also continuing to invest in our business,” said Steve Luczo, Seagate chairman and Chief Executive Officer.
There are, however, some inevitable challenges.
The continual decline in PC sales will continue to put pressure on Seagate's top line revenue figures. Gartner reports that worldwide PC sales and shipments declined by 8% in the 3rd quarter of 2012.
The good news for investors is that the earnings report coming up on January 28 is expected to beat expectations, and today the stock just hit a five-month high of $35.[related1][/related1]