"The 3D NAND industry cycle will be longer than historical patterns and SanDisk (SNDK +3.7%) has a longer-term mix shift toward higher value enterprise SSDs and 2D NAND cost advantages," writes Raymond James while upgrading the NAND flash giant to Strong Buy.
Nomura has upped SanDisk to Neutral and hiked its 2014/2015 estimates. The firm is still worried about the NAND pricing/margin gap that exists between SanDisk and rivals, it thinks "the risks of an earnings miss in 2H14 have declined" amid seasonal improvements and slowing industry supply growth.
In its investor day slides (.pdf), SanDisk forecasts annual NAND flash industry bit growth will be in a modest 30%-40% range going forward. The company also noted its client SSD sales tripled in 2013 to $922M - SanDisk claims to be the market's #2 vendor. Enterprise sales almost doubled in 2013 to $267M; SanDisk is aiming for over $1B in 2016 enterprise sales.
Of interest to Seagate (STX +1%) and Western Digital (WDC +1.7%) investors: SanDisk predicts the SSD attach rate for business notebooks will grow to 39% in 2017 from 16% in 2013, and that the rate for consumer notebooks will grow to 21% from 10%. The hard drive industry is already expected to see limited growth due to SSD pressure.
Yesterday: SanDisk hiking dividend to $0.30/share