Wed, Sep. 30, 7:23 AM
- China's Unis will pay $92.50 per share for a block of newly-issued Western Digital (NASDAQ:WDC) stock, and will own 15% of the company after the deal closes. Unis will also gain the right to put one of its people on the board.
- There's a five-year lock-up on the shares and Unis loses the board seat if its ownership stake falls below 10%.
- Source: Press Release
- Shares +5.2% to $73.
Mon, Sep. 28, 12:31 PM
- The Nasdaq is down 2.3%, but Intel (INTC +0.3%) remains up slightly. Possibly helping: Pac Crest's Mike McConnell (Overweight rating, $35 target) reports September notebook shipments appear set to top expectations by 5%-10%, that desktop motherboard makers are seeing improved demand from OEMs, and that server-related chip demand from cloud service providers is rebounding strongly following a recent slowdown.
- Citi and Wells Fargo argued PC demand is stabilizing earlier this month, while citing healthy August sales data from Taiwanese contract manufacturers. Windows 10 launched on July 29, and Intel began a large-scale rollout of its 14nm Skylake CPUs 4 weeks ago.
- PC sales expectations have been depressed: IDC estimates shipments fell 11.8% Y/Y in Q2 and 6.7% in Q1, and has forecast they'll drop 8.7% over the whole of 2015 to 281.6M.
- In other Intel news, Digitimes reports Intel, which has been looking to narrow its heavy mobile chip losses, plans to end price discounts (reportedly ~$4 for Windows tablets and ~$8 for Android tablets) for its 22nm Bay Trail Atom CPUs in October. Bay Trail CPUs are said to carry a list price of $12, and 14nm Cherry Trail Atom CPUs (discounted by $2-$3) a list price of $15.
- Related tickers: MSFT, AMD, NVDA, HPQ, MU, STX, WDC, HTCH
Wed, Sep. 23, 9:29 AM
- The first day of fall warrants a look at which stocks tend to perform nicely during the season. A scan by USA Today, relying on data from S&P Capital IQ, finds nine stocks beat the S&P 500 each of the last five falls. The group averaged over a 16% gain during the period.
- Fall winners: Seagate Technology (NASDAQ:STX), Royal Caribbean Cruises (NYSE:RCL), Western Digital (NASDAQ:WDC), Ameriprise Financial (NYSE:AMP), Tesoro (NYSE:TSO), Signet Jewelers (NYSE:SIG), Robert Half International (NYSE:RHI), Wyndham Worldwide (NYSE:WYN), FedEx (NYSE:FDX).
Fri, Sep. 18, 11:48 AM
- Longbow Research thinks hard drive shipments have trailed PC shipments in 2015, making a positive inventory corrective possible. The firm considers expectations for a Q3 addressable market (TAM) of 115M units achievable - Western Digital previously estimated (.pdf) a Q2 TAM of 111M, down sharply from 138M a year earlier - and sees potential upside to 120M.
- Seagate (STX -1.9%) and Western Digital (WDC -3.3%) are nonetheless selling off on a day the Nasdaq is down 0.5%. Seagate is 8 days removed from announcing it's cutting 1,050 jobs in response to "the current macroeconomic business environment."
- Related ticker: HTCH
- Last week: Citi, Wells Fargo report seeing stabilizing PC demand
Fri, Sep. 11, 7:09 PM
- "Taiwan notebook ODM shipments increased 16% MoM in August, above our Citi Asia Hardware Analyst William Yang’s estimate of up 10% MoM and above the three year average of up 6% MoM," writes Citi's Chris Danely, arguing PC demand is improving after a very rough Q1 and Q2.
- Danely adds Intel (NASDAQ:INTC) has "indicated PC demand appears to have bottomed, and PC OEMs have started to replenish inventory driven by the Skylake processor ramp," and that Micron (NASDAQ:MU) has "stated DRAM spot prices have started to stabilize, which the company believes is a sign of a bottom in the PC market." IT distributor Ingram Micro (NYSE:IM) is also said to be seeing stabilizing demand.
- Wells Fargo's David Wong sings a similar tune. "There have been signs of a seasonal pickup in PC builds. Month of August sales data reported by Taiwanese notebook and motherboard/computer makers shows a clear month-over-month lift in PC builds in August, and solid growth in the first two months of the September quarter compared to the first two months of the June quarter."
- Likely helping: Windows 10 (free upgrade to Windows 7/8 users) launched in late July to decent reviews, and Intel has since gradually rolled out its 14nm Skylake CPU line. After starting off by launching the gamer/enthusiast-focused Core i7-6700K and Core i5-6600K desktop CPUs, Intel has rolled out the Skylake Y-series (meant for tablets and compute sticks), U-series (ultrabooks/convertibles), H-series (notebooks), and S-series (desktops). Sizable power/efficiency and GPU performance gains are generally promised relative to comparable 14nm Broadwell CPUs.
- Related tickers: MSFT, AMD, NVDA, STX, WDC, HTCH
- Two months ago: IDC estimates PC shipments fell 11.8% Y/Y in Q2
Wed, Aug. 12, 4:42 PM
- In compliance with the company's mandatory retirement-age policy for directors, Tom Pardun, 71, is stepping down from Western Digital's (NASDAQ:WDC) board following its November annual meeting. Pardun has been chairman for 10 years of Western's history, via two separate terms.
- Former chairman/CEO Matt Massengill, 54, will replace Pardun. In addition, Len Leuer, the CEO printer maker Memjet, will become lead independent director.
Tue, Aug. 4, 5:53 PM
Thu, Jul. 30, 9:12 AM
- Gainers: UNXL +33%. UNIS +22%. MEET +18%. GEVO +17%. SHOP +15%. OTEX +15%. WWE +15%. SGYP +13%. SKX +12%. MWW +9%. HBP +8%. HOLX +8%. WDC +8%. APD +6%.
- Losers: PRSN -35%. LNCO -21%. LINE -19%. FMI -18%. SSYS -18%. ITG -14%. FOE -13%. WFM -12%. QRVO -12%. OSK -11%. LOCK -11%. DDD -9%. MNKD -7%. NCR -6%. GNCA -6%. FMS -5%. MPC -5%. CROX -5%.
Wed, Jul. 29, 6:39 PM
- Western Digital (NASDAQ:WDC) has guided on its FQ4 call for FQ1 revenue of $3.2B-$3.3B and EPS of $1.50-$1.60, below a consensus of $3.5B and $1.76. However, a light outlook was expected following Seagate's warning and a deluge of soft PC data.
- Western has risen to $83.11 AH. Seagate (NASDAQ:STX) has risen to $50.74 ahead of Friday morning's FQ4 report.
- Western's FQ4 results, PR
Wed, Jul. 29, 4:16 PM
Thu, Jul. 23, 10:25 AM
- Believing cloud data center spending growth is slowing, Morgan Stanley's Katy Huberty has downgraded Seagate (STX -1.1%) to Underweight, and Western Digital (WDC -1.3%) and QLogic (QLGC -0.7%) to Equal Weight.
- Regarding Seagate (recently issued a calendar Q2 warning thanks to PC weakness), Huberty estimates cloud-related sales account for as much as 12% of revenue, and a larger % of gross profit. Her FY16 (ends June '16) revenue and EPS estimates are now respectively 6% and 20% below consensus.
- Huberty sees similar challenges for Western, albeit while adding its (M&A-fueled) flash product investments will partly offset. Her FY16 (ends June '16) gross margin estimate has been cut to 28.7% from 31%.
- As for QLogic (also recently warned), the company's core Fibre Channel/Ethernet connectivity market is expected to see "normal to below normal seasonality." She now expects revenue to drop 3% Y/Y in 2015.
- Huberty's cloud spending remarks come after Google reported its capex (growing rapidly in recent years) fell 5% Y/Y in Q2 to $2.52B. Western reports on July 29, QLogic on July 30, and Seagate on July 31.
Thu, Jul. 9, 10:02 PM
- IDC estimates global PC shipments tumbled to 66.1M in Q2, falling at a sharper Y/Y clip than Q1's 6.7% and about 1% faster than expected. Gartner is slightly less harsh, estimating shipments fell 9.5% to 68.4M.
- Factors blamed for the decline: Inventory reductions ahead of the Windows 10 launch (set for July 29), a strong dollar (has led to higher overseas prices), and tough Y/Y comps caused by the 2014 boost in business PC sales caused by the end of Windows XP support. With tablet sales under pressure as well, tablet cannibalization is less of a factor than before ... but rising smartphone/tablet usage still appears to be taking a toll on PC upgrade rates.
- Gartner sees full-year shipments falling 4.4%. IDC still expects low-to-mid single-digit declines in 2H15, before volumes stabilize in future years. It sees the Windows 10 launch going "relatively well," but cautions Microsoft's (NASDAQ:MSFT) decision to provide free upgrades to Windows 7/8 users will limit its impact on PC sales.
- Continuing a recent trend, market leaders grabbed share from smaller rivals. IDC estimates #1 Lenovo's (OTCPK:LNVGY) share rose to 20.3% from 19.4% a year ago, #2 HP's (NYSE:HPQ) to 18.5% from 18.2%, and #3 Dell's to 14.5% from 14%. Acer (OTC:ASIYF) and Asus (OTC:AKCPF) are respectively given 6.6% and 6.5% shares
- Curiously, IDC has Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) ranked #4 globally, with its share rising to 7.8% from 5.9% via 5.1M Mac shipments (could imply a 15%+ revenue share), but Gartner doesn't have the company in its top-5. IDC and Gartner respectively assign Apple 13.5% and 12.7% U.S. shares. In the past, IDC's Mac shipment estimates have been notably different from the quarterly figures Apple would later report.
- Near-term expectations for PC sales are already quite low, following Intel's (NASDAQ:INTC) Q1 warning, AMD's Q2 warning, Micron's (NASDAQ:MU) June 25 results/guidance, and plenty of other negative news. Intel's Q2 report arrives on July 15.
- Other PC industry names: NVDA, STX, WDC, HTCH
Mon, Jul. 6, 9:53 AM
- Cautious Cleveland Research remarks about near-term hard drive demand have led Seagate (NASDAQ:STX) and Western Digital (NASDAQ:WDC) to slump out of the gate. The Nasdaq is down 0.4%. This isn't the first time a downbeat Cleveland note has had such an effect.
- Seagate/Western fell two weeks ago after JPMorgan downgraded Western to Neutral, while citing weak PC sales. Both companies also sold off a few days later thanks to Micron's results/guidance.
Fri, Jun. 26, 8:20 AM
- Intel (NASDAQ:INTC) is down 1.7% premarket, Seagate (NASDAQ:STX) is down 1.4%, and Western Digital (NASDAQ:WDC) is down 1.1% after Micron (down 15.1%) missed FQ3 estimates and provided soft FQ4 guidance, while largely blaming PC weakness and its impact on DRAM prices. SanDisk is also off.
- Intel, Seagate, and Western have already seen a decent amount of PC-related concerns priced in. The industry is counting on Windows 10 (launches on July 29) and Intel's Skylake CPU platform (expected to begin rolling out in late summer) to spark a rebound.
Thu, Jun. 25, 5:35 PM
Tue, Jun. 23, 3:59 PM
- Western Digital (NASDAQ:WDC) fell below $89 in regular trading following a morning JPMorgan downgrade to Neutral, and has once more pulled archrival Seagate (NASDAQ:STX) in the same direction.
- JPMorgan's Rod Hall cites weak PC sales as his reason for downgrading Western. "We continue to see little evidence of an improvement in PC fundamentals. We also note negative comments on PC demand from HP, Avago, and Micron over the last month." Oddly, he suggests Intel's Skylake CPU launch (expected to start in late summer) is another reason to be pessimistic, arguing it will, if anything, push out a seasonal demand pickup.
- Hall now expects industry hard drive shipments to fall 10.2% in 2015 to 507M, and 2.3% in 2016 to 495M. ASPs are expected to rise from $58.6 in 2014 to $60.1 in 2015 and $61.2 in 2016, thanks to a mix shift towards costlier enterprise/cloud drives.
- Goldman upgraded Western to Buy in late May, while estimating PCs will only account for 38% of 2015 revenue.
Western Digital Corp is a developer, manufacturer and provider of data storage solutions that enable consumers, businesses, governments & other organizations to create, manage, experience & preserve digital content. Its products include HDDs and SSDs.
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