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How Seagate Won Big on Earnings

Seagate Technology PLC (NASDAQ: STX) reported its fiscal second-quarter financial results after the markets closed on Tuesday. The company posted $1.38 in diluted earnings per share (EPS) on a non-GAAP basis and $2.9 billion in revenue, compared with consensus estimates from Thomson Reuters that called for $1.08 in earnings per share (EPS) and $2.83 billion in revenue. The same period from last year had $0.82 in EPS and $2.98 billion in revenue.

During the second quarter, the Seagate generated $656 million in cash flow from operations. At the same time, the company paid cash dividends of $188 million, and repurchased 4.1 million shares of common stock for $147 million.

The board of directors also approved a quarterly cash dividend of $0.63 per share, payable April 5 to shareholders on record of March 22.

On the books, cash, cash equivalents, and short-term investments totaled roughly $1.7 billion at the end of the quarter, versus $1.19 billion at the end of the previous fiscal year.

Steve Luczo, Chairman and CEO of Seagate, commented:

The Company’s product execution, operational performance, and financial results improved every quarter throughout 2016. In the December quarter we achieved near record results in gross margin, cash flow, and profitability. Seagate’s employees are to be congratulated for their incredible effort. Looking ahead, we are optimistic about the long-term opportunities for Seagate’s business as enterprises and consumers embrace and benefit from the shift of storage to cloud and mobile applications. Seagate is well positioned to work with the leaders in this digital transformation with a broad market-leading storage solution portfolio.

Shares of Seagate closed Tuesday up about 3% at $37.44, with a consensus analyst price target of $39.73 and a 52-week trading range of $18.42 to $41.45. Following the release of the earnings report, the stock was initially up 3% at $38.55 in the after-hours trading session.