Western Digital shares surge as earnings estimates crush

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Western Digital shares at the end of the session were up 6.9% to $ 76.

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Western digital

were trading higher Thursday at the end of the day better than expected financial results for the company’s fiscal third quarter of disk and flash memory.

Western Digital (ticker: WDC) reported revenue of $ 4.1 billion in the quarter ended March 31, down 1% from a year ago, but ahead of the range from $ 3.8 billion to $ 4.05 billion. Non-GAAP earnings were $ 1.02 per share, well above the company’s forecast of 55 cents to 75 cents.

The company said the good results reflected “growing momentum” for both “power-assisted drives” and current generation SSDs, as well as “improving NAND flash price trends.”

For the June quarter, Western sees revenue of $ 4.4 billion to $ 4.6 billion, with non-GAAP earnings of $ 1.30 to $ 1.60 per share, above Consensus Street forecast at $ 4.3 billion and $ 1.02 per share.

Western said its client device business had revenue of $ 2 billion, up 10% from a year ago, on “continued strength in demand for laptops. and desktop, as well as the rise of new game consoles.

Data center devices generated revenue of $ 1.2 billion, down 19%, although the company said it had sequential growth with its NVMe (express non-volatile memory) enterprise SSDs. , a connection standard for some memory devices) to an unspecified “cloud titan”. (This apparently refers to one of the big three cloud companies –



or Google.) The company added that “Western Digital’s power-assist hard drive qualifications have also been completed with nearly every cloud and enterprise customer, including every cloud titan.”

The company said its customer solutions segment had revenue of $ 888 million, up 8%, on strong retail products.

In an interview with Barron’sWestern Digital CEO David Goeckeler said prices for flash memory devices continued to strengthen, and he said Western had been able to raise prices for consumer products sold through retailers. and distributors on a weekly and, in some cases, daily basis. “We are able to react to market changes and reorient the offering where there are more market opportunities,” he says.

Goeckeler declined to provide a long-term outlook for memory prices, but said the company continued to see “an environment of high demand.” He adds that supply constraints aren’t much of an issue for the company – although the company does use microcontrollers and other parts in short supply. “We manage it all,” he says.

Goeckeler would not comment on recent speculation that the company may acquire Kioxia, its flash production joint venture partner based in Japan. He says the partnership “is fantastic” and includes R&D as well as production. He notes that the two companies together are the world’s largest producer of flash memory. “In this industry, you want scale,” he says.

Meanwhile, Goeckeler notes that there has been a small but noticeable increase in demand for high capacity disk drivers from a new crypto currency called Chia this requires that the coins be “cultivated” rather than “extracted”, with a methodology that requires high capacity drives.

Western Digital shares at the end of the session were up 6.9% to $ 76.

Write to Eric J. Savitz at [email protected]

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