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Thai flooding impact on tech companies, suppliers

What tech manufacturers and suppliers say about the impact from heavy flooding in Thailand

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What tech manufacturers and suppliers have been saying about the impact from heavy flooding in Thailand:

Oct. 12, 2011: Seagate Technology PLC, which makes hard drives, says its factories in Thailand have been operational, but it may have difficulty making hard drives because of constraints in getting parts.

Oct. 17: Computer hard drive maker Western Digital Corp. says flooding damage to its Thailand locations will have a significant impact on its operations and its ability to meet customer demand the rest of the year.

Oct. 18: Apple Inc. CEO Tim Cook says he is "virtually certain there will be an overall industry shortage of disk drives." Cook warns that Apple's Mac lines will be most affected.

Oct. 19: Data storage equipment maker Emulex Corp. says a subcontracted manufacturing facility in Ayudhaya has suspended operations due to flooding.

Oct. 24: Fabrinet, which provides services and parts for optical, electro-mechanical and electronic manufacturing companies, says it expects its Chokchai plants to remain shuttered through the rest of the quarter.

Emcore Corp., which makes semiconductor-based components for broadband, fiber optic, solar and other markets, says flooding penetrated a contractor's production facility over the weekend, submerging some equipment. Emcore says it will have trouble meeting customer demand for fiber optic products, but it's ramping up production in China and other areas. The company's solar division wasn't affected by the floods.

Oct. 26: Computer networking equipment maker Digi International Inc. says flooding inundated an unnamed contract manufacturer, leaving it unclear when it can resume working with Digi. Digi says it has halted all of its Thailand-based operations as it reviews how it to meet existing business requirements by working with other contract manufacturers or using its own manufacturing operation in the U.S. and inventory on hand.

Semiconductor maker LSI Corp. warns that supply-chain uncertainties because of the flooding may weigh on fourth-quarter results.

Nov. 1: JDS Uniphase Corp., which makes products for communications companies to test the quality of their networks, says it expects revenue in the current quarter to be reduced by $35 million to $45 million because of flooding. It says it has added employees in Thailand to help meet customer's needs.

Nov. 2: Lenovo Group Ltd., a leading maker of personal computers, says flooding in Thailand will likely impact the global supply of hard disk drives. It says it will "monitor the situation closely and take necessary actions to mitigate the potential impact."

Nov. 9: Cisco Systems Inc. says it is closely watching fallout from the flooding, particular for the effect on disk drives for its set-top boxes and on its optical-networking products. It says it has contingency plans in place to minimize any impact and has factored that into forecasts, but it expects things won't return to normal for several quarters.

Nov. 10: Research group IDC says the disaster's real effect isn't expected to hit makers of personal computers until early next year. In a worst-case scenario, PC shipments could drop more than 20 percent from previous forecasts in the first quarter of 2012. IDC says many of the personal computers that will be sold during the holiday season have already been produced or can be made with existing supplies of hard drives, limiting disruptions from the flooding.

Nov. 15: Dell Inc. says revenue will likely be hampered in the next few quarters because of shortages in hard drives. The company says it still cannot pinpoint the magnitude or duration of hard drive shortages because of the complexity of the situation. That means the industry needs to pay attention to how it allocates its resources through at least the first quarter of 2012. Dell notes that it has worked through other supply shortages in the industry before.

Nov. 16: NetApp Inc., a data-storage company, says supplies of hard disk drives are probably adequate for the current quarter, but flooding may affect revenue and margins next year.

Nov. 17: Marvell Technology Group Ltd., which makes digital storage devices and network components and chips for smartphones and other wireless devices, says damage from the floods will have an effect on its business, but the company says it has a strong balance sheet and diverse sources of revenue, which will help it manage those effects.

Nov. 21: Hewlett-Packard Co. says supply constraints should start to ease by the end of the fiscal second quarter, which ends in April. But the company says the situation remains dynamic. "I've been on the phone with the heads of all four of our disk drive partners and I'm not even sure they have a complete picture about when they're going to be back up and running," CEO Meg Whitman said. She says the company expects to get more than its fair share of drives because of long-term relationships with suppliers, but "this is going to be pretty tough for the industry."

Nov. 22: TiVo Inc. warns of increased costs for hard drives in the current quarter.

Nov. 28: Seagate says it will hit the low end of its previously forecast range of disk drive shipments. Seagate now expects to ship 43 million units in the current quarter. In October, it had projected 40 million to 50 million units.

Nov. 30: Analog and mixed-signal semiconductor maker Semtech Corp. says it expects results to be hampered in the current quarter. It issues a quarterly forecast that is short of analysts' expectations for adjusted earnings and revenue.

Dec. 8: IHS iSuppli estimates that the flooding will result in a shortfall of nearly 4 million PCs — most of them laptops — shipped in the first quarter of 2012. The research firm now expects global PC shipments to total 84.2 million in the period, down from a previous estimate of 88 million. This would be a drop of nearly 12 percent from the October-to-December period, using iSuppli's estimate of 95.3 million PCs in the current quarter.

Dec. 12: Intel cuts its fourth-quarter revenue outlook, saying that companies are reducing inventories and microprocessor purchases because of shortages of hard drives.

Wednesday: Seagate says it shipped more hard disk drives in its December quarter than it had expected and will post revenue above its earlier guidance.

Thursday: Research firm Gartner Inc. lowers its global technology spending growth forecast because of the sluggish economy and the euro crisis. Gartner says the computer hardware sector will be the hardest hit, hurt by supply constraints in the hard disk drive industry.

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