The strong run by Hitachi Ltd. (NYSE: HIT; Paris: PHA) in the high-end storage market appears to have lost some steam, according to the company's most recent quarterly earnings results.
In the calendar second quarter of 2003, Hitachi's storage revenue -- which includes sales by Hitachi Data Systems (HDS), its worldwide marketing arm for enterprise storage -- declined to 62 billion (US$517 million), down 11.4 percent sequentially but up about 3 percent year over year. Sales of high-end Lightning revenue remained relatively flat year-over-year and were down nearly 11 percent sequentially.
Analysts note that the drop reflects the company's seasonally weaker fiscal first quarter. But Hitachi's disappointing results at the high end of the storage market do indicate that it lost several share points to EMC Corp. (NYSE: EMC) and IBM Corp. (NYSE: IBM), says Shebly Seyrafi, an analyst with A.G. Edwards.
"We estimate that Hitachi lost 4.7 percentage points of share in the calendar second quarter," he says. IBM gained 3 percentage points, while EMC picked up 1.7, according to A.G. Edwards.
In one example of business that Hitachi has been losing, EarthLink Inc. earlier this year opted to scrap Hitachi's Lightning in favor of EMC storage -- including a DMX1000 system. "EMC, at least from our perspective, had lost the lead to Hitachi in 2000 to 2001, but they've clearly gotten the lead back," Ronald Williams, EarthLink's senior manager of infrastructure operations architecture, told Byte and Switch in June (see EarthLink Exalts EMC).