It's not so much that the outlook is all that great; it's probably more that things just aren't much worse -- for a change.

Shares of Seagate Technology (NYSE:STX) are up 7% to $12.71 in early afternoon trading after the disk-drive maker provided first-quarter guidance ahead of estimates. The company expects to earn $0.06 to $0.08 per share on revenues of $1.48 billion to $1.52 billion. That figure includes an $18 million or $0.04-per-share gain from the discontinuation of a post-retirement medical plan and excludes the restructuring charges we discussed a few months ago (see Seagate's Sadistically Sad Story).

Analysts are calling for earnings of $0.03 per share on $1.47 billion in revenue, excluding charges and special events.

On the plus side, Seagate said that the market for enterprise storage products would be around 5.8 million units, slightly larger than previously expected. Meanwhile, demand for consumer electronics storage products -- including personal video recorders, gaming platforms, and handheld audio players -- would be stronger than expected, with a total available market of 10 million to 11 million units, or better than the 8 million to 10 million units the company had forecast in July.

Seagate also expects to gain market share in the consumer electronics storage market, as well as the mobile computing storage market.

On the downside, Seagate suggested that the total available market for desktop computing storage products would be only 47 million to 48 million units, rather than the 50 million it forecast in July. The company also said that sales in the distribution channel are running flat compared with the fourth quarter, "which is uncharacteristic of a September quarter sales-out pattern."

Seagate also expects the average unit price to fall another 3% to 4% during the quarter, reflecting "continued aggressive price declines" for mobile computing storage products and moderation in price declines for enterprise storage products.

Despite some better news, I still think Seagate is an easy company to stay away from. It faces tough competition from Maxtor (NYSE:MXO) and Western Digital (NYSE:WDC) and has zero pricing power. And if you need more convincing, you can always tap former Fool Tom Jacobs for 4 Reasons Seagate Sinks.

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Fool contributor Jeff Hwang owns none of the companies mentioned above.