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Seagate Slashes Sales Forecast for Quarter

It is becoming clear that the storage industry isn't immune to the economic downturn. Hard-disk drive maker Seagate Technology Inc. (NYSE: STX) has cut its revenue guidance for the current quarter and said it will shut down its U.S. facilities from Dec. 22 until after New Year's Day in a cost-cutting move.

Seagate released a revised second-quarter revenue forecast on Wednesday, saying it expects $2.3 billion to $2.6 billion in revenue for the period ending Jan. 2. The company had previously predicted revenue for the quarter to hit around $3.05 billion. Analysts had been predicting revenue of $2.9 billion.

Seagate shares rallied on the bad news Wednesday, rising nearly 8 percent. The company's stock has declined more than 75 percent so far this year.

CEO Bill Watkins told the Barclays Capital Global Technology Conference in San Francisco that demand for hard drives had stalled over the past month. "We actually had a pretty decent October and we started seeing the pullback about in the second week of November," he said. "There is a lot of fear out there. I don't think anyone is very comfortable about where they are."

Seagate joins other large tech companies like Advanced Micro Devices (NYSE: AMD), Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO), Computer Sciences Corp. (CSC) (NYSE: CSC), Intel Corp. (Nasdaq: INTC), and Hewlett-Packard Co. (NYSE: HPQ) that have issued revenue warnings. Several also are shutting down operations for the holidays.

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