Tough times for hard-drive companies, report says

The disk drive industry is spinning its wheels, according to a new report. The industry, a notoriously difficult one in which to succeed, is stuck in a rut of cutthroat pricing and grim profit prospects, according to the report, released Thursday by investment firm Credit Suisse First Boston. "While demand for hard disk drives remains robust, an extremely competitive pricing environment has emerged, particularly in enterprise drives, which has served to eliminate most of the industry's profit pool for (the) calendar second quarter," the investment firm wrote.

CSFB gave "neutral" ratings to Maxtor and Seagate Technology and an "outperform" rating to Western Digital. "Because of its concentrated product line, which is focused on desktop PC drives, Western Digital is somewhat insulated from the fallout in the enterprise market, making it the most attractive investment candidate in the group," the firm wrote. Neither Maxtor nor Seagate responded immediately to a request for comment.

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