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SanDisk Corporation (SNDK)

  • Fri, Mar. 27, 2:44 PM
    • BofA/Merrill, Goldman, BTIG, and Evercore have downgraded SanDisk (SNDK -3.2%) since the company issued a Q1/2015 warning yesterday morning, and several other firms have slashed their targets. Shares have fallen 21% since the announcement.
    • BofA's Simon Dong-je Woo (downgrade to Neutral) thinks SanDisk has lost SSD share to Samsung (particularly for Apple products), and is also concerned about the company's "slower execution" on ramping 15nm MLC and TLC NAND production. His new $85 target is still well above current levels.
    • BTIG's Walter Piecyk (downgrade to Neutral): "The minimal amount of information provided by the company whenever it pre-announces as well as its inability to provide additional information for weeks ... leave investors in a vacuum with a lack of information ... The Q1 pre-announcement implies 15% decline in revenue and in the absence of any additional information, we do not expect the company to return to revenue growth until 2016, when its newer SSD products should be hitting full stride."
    • Needham's Rajvindra Gill: "When we downgraded the stock on 1/12 ($97.04) we saw several structural challenges facing SNDK, which we think will persist: 1) unfavorable mix with 1/3 of revenue from removable products, where pricing is fierce; 2) a lack of mobile DRAM solution impeding growth in the China handset market as eMCP adoption accelerates; and 3) NAND GMs of 45% that are unsustainable relative to competition (+1500 bps higher)."
    • Deutsche's Sidney Ho (target cut to $80) is staying bullish. [O]ur field checks suggest that the NAND market seems to have stabilized after severe price pressure in Q4. While we are lowering our estimates and price target, we continue to believe SNDK can turn things around and drive operating leverage in the back half of the year, especially with the help of better supply-demand dynamics."
  • Thu, Mar. 26, 12:49 PM
  • Thu, Mar. 26, 9:13 AM
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  • Thu, Mar. 26, 7:43 AM
    • SanDisk (NASDAQ:SNDK) -11.5% premarket after cutting its Q1 revenue guidance, citing certain product qualification delays, lower than expected sales of enterprise products and lower pricing in some areas of its business.
    • SNDK also expects the rest of 2015 to be affected by those factors as well as its previously discussed supply challenges, and now forecasts FY 2015 revenue to be lower than previous guidance but the company does not provide a specific figure.
    • For its Q1, SNDK now sees revenues of ~$1.3B, depending on final sell-through results, compared to its prior outlook of $1.4B-$1.45B; Wall Street consensus had foreseen ~$1.43B.
    • SNDK also withdraws its other forecasts for the quarter and year, and says it will reschedule its investor day, which had been set for May.
  • Wed, Mar. 25, 2:10 PM
    • Netlist (NASDAQ:NLST) has lost its breach of contract and trade secret misappropriation suit against flash controller IC vendor Diablo Technologies. Shares have cratered in response.
    • Shares soared two months ago after the Northern California district court handling the suit placed an injunction on Diablo's controllers. Netlist has filed a separate infringement suit against Diablo and customer SanDisk (NASDAQ:SNDK) that's being handled by the same court (previous).
    • Update: Diablo tells The Register the jury deliberating over the case unanimously concluded "there was no breach of contract and that there was no misuse of trade secrets," and "confirmed Diablo’s sole ownership and inventorship of the '917 patent'."
    • Update 2: The jury's verdict form is now online (hat tip: SA commenter pj4272).
  • Wed, Mar. 11, 9:24 AM
    • Citing a more favorable valuation and expectations of a favorable 2015 NAND flash supply/demand balance, Goldman's Mark Delaney has upgraded SanDisk (NASDAQ:SNDK) to Conviction Buy, and hiked his target by $6 to $106.
    • Delaney: "Low 2H14 NAND [chip equipment] orders imply supply growth will be reasonable for at least the next two quarters (there is a two quarter lag between orders and output), and demand should pick up from a seasonally slow 1Q (aided by higher NAND per phone)." He sees margins (under pressure lately) improving by 400 bps by Q4 with the help of a weaker yen and SanDisk's 15nm NAND production ramp.
    • Delaney also sees SanDisk recently-launched enterprise flash storage array potentially driving long-term upside, and thinks concerns about the 2016 impact of 3D NAND adoption are overblown. "While this is a risk to monitor, we expect a reasonable ramp due to high capex requirements (3D requires 2X the tools as 2D), relatively high cost/bit for early 3D chips, and the fact that early 3D output is planned for SSDs (SSDs for OEMs need to be qualified, implying a delay from initial 3D output to volume ramp)."
    • Micron (NASDAQ:MU), which fell 3.7% yesterday amid a market selloff and is down 21% YTD, is getting a lift from the upgrade. NAND accounted for 28% of Micron's November quarter sales.
    • Morgan Stanley reported positive NAND checks two weeks ago.
  • Wed, Mar. 4, 1:19 PM
    • SanDisk (NASDAQ:SNDK) is up sharply a day after revealing InfiniFlash, a line of very dense and cheap enterprise flash storage arrays that support up to 512TB of capacity within just 3 rack units (3U) of space. This is made possible in part by a lack of built-in computing power; InfiniFlash relies on servers to provide it.
    • InfiniFlash arrays will cost less than $1/GB, leading SanDisk to assert they provide "breakthrough pricing." Three models are offered: An "open platform" solution that third parties can run custom software on; a version for scale-out data centers (beloved by Internet giants); and a high-performance version for database storage. The last model runs on recently-acquired Fusion-io's ION Accelerator software.
    • SanDisk plans to offer the systems to existing server/storage OEM partners and resellers - its PR contains a positive quote from Dell - and (notably) also directly sell it to scale-out data center owners. SanDisk argues the solution, which enters a crowded flash array market featuring EMC, IBM, Pure Storage, Violin Memory, and many others, is optimized for big data/analytics, Web content, and media streaming needs (rather than general-purpose flash storage).
    • "This is very disruptive and very competitive with other all-flash offerings," declares Bernstein. The Register's Chris Mellor observes InfiniFlash's density easily outpaces that of many existing arrays.
    • Also: As is its custom, SanDisk has refreshed its mobile product lineup at the Mobile World Congress. New offerings include a 200GB microSD card and an embedded NAND flash module for phones/tablets that supports 1Gbps transfer speeds.
  • Fri, Feb. 27, 1:07 PM
    • "NAND in 1Q is far less soft [than] we'd have thought, despite seasonal weakness," writes Morgan Stanley's Joseph Moore, reiterating an Overweight on SanDisk (NASDAQ:SNDK). "Our industry contacts and channel checks [seem] to suggest 1H15 NAND pricing, while still not great on an absolute basis, is holding up better than we had expected as we think the Q4 surge largely depleted supplier inventories."
    • Moore also sees NAND demand getting a boost from Samsung's Galaxy S6, which is set to launch in March and expected to see a doubling of NAND capacities for various price tiers (following Apple's doubling of iPhone NAND capacity for its two higher tiers). "A move by Samsung in the Galaxy S6 ... would reinforce our thesis that elastic demand in NAND within smartphones is going to drive the overall demand for NAND higher in this category."
    • Moore upgraded SanDisk to Overweight last September, and soon afterwards argued higher-capacity iPhone 6 models would act as a tailwind.
  • Tue, Jan. 27, 7:27 PM
    • Micron (NASDAQ:MU), SanDisk (NASDAQ:SNDK), and InvenSense (NYSE:INVN) have joined Cirrus Logic, NXP, and several RF chipmakers in rising AH in response to Apple's FQ1 beat and stronger-than-expected iPhone sales print (74.5M units, +46% Y/Y).
    • Micron became an iDevice mobile DRAM supplier through the Elpida acquisition. SanDisk has been both an iPhone NAND flash and MacBook SSD supplier, but there have been reports the company's recent woes are partly due to losing Apple as an SSD client. InvenSense's motion sensors were designed into the iPhone 6/6 Plus.
    • MU +1.3% AH to $30.02. SNDK +1.3% to $79.99. INVN +1.7% to $15.19. InvenSense reports on Thursday. Micron was hit hard earlier today by Microsoft's FQ2 Windows figures and related commentary.
  • Thu, Jan. 22, 9:15 AM
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  • Wed, Jan. 21, 6:00 PM
    • SanDisk (NASDAQ:SNDK) guides on its Q4 CC (webcast) for Q1 revenue of $1.4B-$1.45B, below a $1.6B consensus. Likewise, 2015 guidance is for revenue of $6.5B-$6.8B, below a $7.23B consensus.
    • Revenue is expected to be down Y/Y in 1H15 before rebounding in 2H15. Q1 gross margin is expected to be roughly even with Q4's depressed 45%.
    • Micron (NASDAQ:MU) is following SanDisk lower, as it did following the NAND rival's Jan. 12 warning.
    • SanDisk's Q4 results, details
  • Mon, Jan. 12, 12:46 PM
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  • Mon, Jan. 12, 9:14 AM
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  • Mon, Jan. 12, 9:12 AM
    • SanDisk (NASDAQ:SNDK) now expects Q4 revenue of $1.73B, below prior guidance of $1.8B-$1.85B and a $1.84B consensus. Gross margin is now expected to be at 45%, below prior guidance of 47%-49%.
    • NAND rival Micron (NASDAQ:MU) is following SanDisk lower. Last week, Micron offered more cautious remarks about its NAND ops (28% of revenue) than its DRAM ops (68% of revenue).
    • SanDisk's full Q4 results are due on Jan. 21
    • Previously: Micron's FQ2 DRAM and NAND guidance
  • Tue, Jan. 6, 4:27 PM
    • Micron (NASDAQ:MU) guides in its FQ1 earnings slides (.pdf) for FQ2 revenue of $4.1B-$4.3B, below a $4.53B consensus. DRAM production (bit growth) is expected to fall by a high-single to low-double digit % Q/Q in the seasonally weak quarter, and trade NAND flash production is expected to be flat to down by a low-single digit %.
    • Both DRAM and trade NAND prices are expected to be flat to down by low-single digits. DRAM cost/bit is expected to be flat, and trade NAND up by mid-single digits.
    • FQ1 gross margin was 36%, up from 33% in FQ4 and 32% a year earlier. GAAP SG&A spend rose 10% Y/Y to $193M, and R&D spend 18% to $376M. Op. cash flow totaled $1.59B, and capex $669M.
    • FQ1 DRAM figures:  68% of revenue, 8% Q/Q bit growth (mobile/server demand), 1% ASP growth, 4% cost/bit decline. FQ1 trade NAND figures: 26% of revenue, 20% bit growth (mobile/SSD demand), 6% ASP decline, 5% cost/bit decline. Other NAND was 2% of revenue, and NOR flash 3%.
    • Micron ended FQ1 with $5.3B in cash/marketable investments, and $5.8B in debt.
    • SanDisk (NASDAQ:SNDK) has moved lower in sympathy with Micron.
    • FQ1 results, PR
  • Dec. 29, 2014, 9:42 AM
    • Netlist (NLST +4.5%) states the USPTO has fully denied three SanDisk (SNDK -0.6%) petitions for an inter partes review (IPR) of Netlist patent claims, and partly denied a fourth petition. Petitions have been granted to "review three other Netlist patents that have also been asserted" in Netlist's infringement suit against SanDisk and memory module partner Diablo Technologies.
    • Netlist has alleged SanDisk's ULLtraDIMM DDR3 server flash storage modules, which place flash directly on the memory bus (thereby lowering latency), infringe its patents. Along with its enterprise SSDs and Fusion-io's PCIe server flash cards, ULLtraDIMMs are a core part of SanDisk's efforts to grow its sales within the high-margin data center flash storage market. IBM and Super Micro are among the product's supporters.
    • Netlist is up following the announcement.
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Company Description
SanDisk Corp designs, develops and manufactures data storage solutions using flash memory, proprietary controller and firmware technologies.