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Seagate results beat estimates; sees lower 3rd-qtr revenue

(Reuters) - Seagate Technology Plc forecast third-quarter revenue below analysts' estimates, on muted demand for its hard disk drives as consumers pick smartphones and tablets over PCs, sending its shares down 4 percent after the bell.

Worldwide PC shipments declined to 90.3 million units in the last three months of 2012, research firm Gartner said earlier in January, indicating that the sector was suffering from a shift in consumer habits as much as a weak global economy.

Seagate, whose hard disk drives and solid state drives are used to store data inside computers, forecast third-quarter revenue of between $3.25 billion and $3.45 billion.

Analysts on average were expecting revenue of $3.48 billion, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

"Our business environment continues to be impacted by a wide range of macroeconomic, spending and demand challenges," Chief Executive Steve Luczo said on a conference call with analysts.

Net income fell to $492 million or $1.30 per share, in the second quarter, compared with $563 million, or $1.28 per share, a year earlier.

Excluding items, the company earned $1.38 per share.

Revenue rose about 15 percent to $3.67 billion, beating analysts' estimates for the first time in two quarters. It shipped 58 million drives in the quarter.

Analysts were looking for adjusted earnings of $1.33 per share, on revenue of $3.58 billion.

Rival Western Digital Corp last week reported second-quarter results that beat analysts' expectations on growth in its enterprise segment.

Seagate has recovered after its manufacturing facilities were hit by floods in 2011.

Thailand, which accounted for over half of the world's hard disk drive production, saw its worst flooding in decades in 2011 that threw industrial production off track as factories and estates remained inundated.

During the period, sales of hard drive makers were crimped, as production levels fell.

Seagate shares, which have gained about 32 percent in the last three months, were down about 3 percent at $35.73 after the bell. They closed at $37.41 on the Nasdaq.

(Reporting by Chandni Doulatramani in Bangalore; Editing by Supriya Kurane)

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