Time to brush up on that periodic table…

images-11.jpegIt’s been awhile since I’ve looked at a periodic table — freshman chemistry, to be exact. But something in the Q that Seagate Technology (STX) filed last week made me take a quick refresher class. In the filing, Seagate warned about the rising price of Ruthenium, a metal used in the production of the company’s drives based on perpendicular technology.

A quick skim of the wires brought me to this story which shows that the price of Ruthenium has risen from $35 an ounce in 2003 to more than $700 an ounce today, which clearly has to have an impact on margins. But it’s not just Seagate that’s feeling the pinch. A quick search for the word Ruthenium in other filings turns up a whole host of companies that use the material in various ways, including Western Digital (WDC) and Komag (KOMG). As more Qs begin to surface, it will be interesting to see how many more companies are impacted by this.