Brean's Ananda Baruah has raised his Seagate (STX +4.1%) PT to $70 from $55, and his Western Digital (WDC +0.9%) PT to $125 from $85, while reiterating Buys for both names. The PT hikes come shortly after the hard drive giants respectively received upgrades to Overweight and Buy from JPMorgan and Citi.
With industry consolidation keeping pricing healthy, Baruah thinks Seagate/Western can deliver 100-200 bps of gross margin improvement over the next few years, and perhaps 400-500 of improvement within 5-7 years.
That, in turn, leads him to forecast Seagate and Western willrespectively deliver $7+ and $8.64 in calendar 2015 EPS. He add cost savings obtained from integrating Hitachi's hard drive unit could boost Western's EPS by another ~$1.70. For reference, Seagate's current FY15 (ends June '15) EPS consensus is at $5.96, and Western's is at $8.59.
Seagate has made new 52-week highs, and Western is close to its 52-week high of $84.70.