Lower Profit, Flat Sales Expected From Red-Hot Western Digital

| About: Western Digital (WDC)

Western Digital Corp. (NYSE:WDC) is set to report FQ3 2014 earnings after the market closes on Wednesday, April 30th. Western Digital is a seller of hard disk drives, integrated circuits and data storage products. Western Digital is one of several companies trying to get involved in hybrid storage, the combination of traditional data storage technology and cloud storage offerings. Over the past two years, Western Digital has beaten Wall Street's expectations in every single quarter. This quarter Wall Street is expecting slightly lower revenue than FQ3 of last year, and for EPS to fall by 22 cents per share. Here's what investors expect from Western Digital on Wednesday.

The information below is derived from data submitted to the Estimize.com platform by a set of Buy Side and Independent analyst contributors.

(Click Here to see Estimates and Interactive Features for Western Digital)

The current Wall Street consensus expectation is for Western Digital to report $1.88 EPS and $3.731B revenue while the current Estimize.com consensus from 11 Buy Side and Independent contributing analysts is $1.96 EPS and $3.771B in revenue. This quarter the buy-side as represented by the Estimize.com community is expecting Western Digital to beat Wall Street's expectations by a considerable margin on both EPS and revenue.

Over the past six quarters, the consensus from Estimize.com has been more accurate than Wall Street in forecasting Western Digital's EPS and revenue in every single quarter. By tapping into a wider range of contributors including hedge-fund analysts, asset managers, independent research shops, students and non-professional investors, Estimize has created a data set that is more accurate than Wall Street up to 69.5% of the time, but more importantly, it does a better job of representing the market's actual expectations.

The magnitude of the difference between the Wall Street and Estimize consensus numbers often identifies opportunities to take advantage of expectations that may not have been priced into the market. In this case, we are seeing a moderate to large differential between the two groups' expectations on Western Digital's earnings.

The distribution of estimates published by analysts on the Estimize.com platform range from $1.87 to $2.17 EPS and from $3.736B to $3.850B in revenues. This quarter we're seeing a wide range of estimates on Western Digital's EPS and moderate range of revenue predictions.

The size of the distribution of estimates relative to previous quarters often signals whether or not the market is confident that it has priced in the expected earnings already. A wider distribution of estimates signals less agreement in the market, which could mean greater volatility post earnings.

This quarter, the Wall Street EPS consensus slipped from $1.89 to $1.88 while the Estimize consensus fell from a high of $2.02 to $1.96. Meanwhile, Wall Street raised its revenue consensus from $3.695B to $3.731B while the Estimize consensus also increased from $3.762 to $3.771B. Timeliness is correlated with accuracy and upward analyst revenue revisions going into an earnings report are often a bullish indicator. Here the Wall Street consensus was flat going into the report while we saw slightly rising analyst revenue expectations from the Estimize community alongside a slightly declining EPS consensus.

The analyst with the highest estimate confidence rating this quarter is turbinecity who projects $1.92 EPS and $3.747B in revenue. turbinecity was our Winter 2014 season winner and is ranked 3rd overall among over 4,300 contributing analysts. Over the past 2 years, turbinecity has been more accurate than Wall Street in forecasting EPS and revenue 59% and 54% of the time, respectively, throughout over 2,000 estimates. Estimate confidence ratings are calculated through algorithms developed by deep quantitative research, which looks at correlations between analyst track records and tendencies as they relate to future accuracy. In this case, turbinecity is making a bullish call expecting Western Digital to beat even the Estimize community's expectations on both EPS and revenue.

Western Digital's stock has pretty much just been on a straight climb up over the past couple of years, as it has outperformed expectations from both Wall Street and the buy side for 8 quarters in a row. Revenue and earnings have both been quite flat over the past few quarters and EPS and revenue are expected to come in slightly below last year's numbers on Wednesday. But the buy side as represented by the Estimize.com community still expects Western Digital to beat the Wall Street consensus by 8 cents per share in EPS and $40 million in sales.

Disclosure: None.