October 17, 2011 / 2:35 PM / 8 years ago

Western Digital's flood-hit Thailand ops to hurt company

(Reuters) - Hard-drive maker Western Digital Corp said it extended the suspension of its operations in Thailand as floods brought operations to a standstill, sending its shares down as much as 8 percent.

The company expects the flooding of its Thailand facilities and the damage it caused the supply chain to significantly hurt operations and its ability to meet customer demand in the December quarter.

Flooding in Thailand has killed 297 people since late July and caused about $3 billion in damage. A third of the country is under water but officials are confident low-lying Bangkok will be spared after the strengthening of its system of defensive dikes and canals.

Car and electronics manufacturers across Southeast Asia are expected to be affected by floods [ID:nL3E7LD0HP] and U.S. chipmakers like ON Semiconductor Corp and Microsemi Corp have taken a beating.

On Monday, Western Digital said it will provide more updates on a conference call on October 19.

“Over the weekend, rising water penetrated the Bang Pa-in Industrial Park flood defenses, inundating the company’s manufacturing facilities there and submerging some equipment,” Western Digital said in a statement.

At another manufacturing location in Navanakorn Industrial Park in Thailand, the park flood defenses were breached and water had begun to flow into the park on Monday morning, threatening the company’s facilities there.

Western Digital, which competes with Seagate Technology, said all employees in Thailand were safe.

Shares of the company fell to $26.11 in early morning trade on the New York Stock Exchange.

Reporting by Sayantani Ghosh in Bangalore;Editing by Supriya Kurane

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