Thailand flooding hits Western Digital operations

AP News
Posted: Oct 17, 2011 3:29 PM
Thailand flooding hits Western Digital operations

Computer hard drive maker Western Digital Corp. said Monday that flooding damage to its Thailand locations will have a significant impact on its operations and its ability to meet customer demand in the December quarter.

The company said it has extended its suspension of operations in Thailand, as rising water flooded its manufacturing site in the Bang Pa-in Industrial Park and submerged some equipment. It also said flooding is threatening operations in the Navanakorn Industrial Park. Both facilities are about 27 miles north of Bangkok.

Western Digital, which is based in Irvine, Calif., makes hard drives, network drives and other storage products. It said company locations in Malaysia, Singapore and the United States are fully operational.

Thai officials have said hundreds of people have died and more than 260,000 have lost jobs as 6,533 businesses nationwide had to close due flooding last week. Several major industrial parks have been inundated, which has disrupted supply chains, especially in the automotive and electronic industries.

Last week, Seagate Technology PLC, which also makes hard drives, said its factories in Thailand were operational, but it may have difficulty making hard drives because of constraints in getting parts. It didn't know yet what the magnitude of the disruption will be. It expects to provide an update when it issues financial results for the quarter on Thursday.

Western Digital's stock fell $1.96, or 6.9 percent, to $26.39 in afternoon trading Monday. Seagate's stock fell 34 cents, or 2.9 percent, to $11.46.