Sep. 9, 2013, 10:26 AM
- Virident, like Fusion-io (FIO +11.3%), offers PCI-Express-based server flash memory modules meant for performance-intensive applications. And beaten-down Fusion-io has been the subject of plenty of M&A speculation over the last two years.
- Virident asserts its FlashMAX II PCI-Express modules offer 2x the performance of rival solutions.The company also provides FlashMAX Connect, an innovative software solution for allowing FlashMAX II modules to be clustered, to mirror/replicate content, and to act as caches for 3rd-party storage.
- Western Digital (WDC -0.5%) should be able to greatly expand Virident's distribution. The purchase comes less than 3 months after WDC announced it's buying enterprise SSD vendor sTec for $207M.
- In addition to Fusion-io, Virident competes against EMC, which offers its XtremSF flash modules and other flash storage products, and private flash storage system vendors such as Nimble Storage and Violin Memory.
- Interestingly, Western Digital archrival Seagate (STX -0.8%) recently invested $40M in Virident and struck a reseller deal with the company. Though Seagate is probably getting a good return on its investment, it can't be happy to see Virident fall into WDC's arms. Will it counter by making a play for Fusion-io?
- Previous: Western Digital buying Virident for $685M
Sep. 9, 2013, 8:29 AM
- Western Digital (WDC +0.6%) unit HGST has agreed to acquire Virident Systems, a provider of server-side flash storage products, in a deal worth $685M.
- The enterprise value of the transaction is $645M, net of Virident's estimated cash balance at closing.
- The acquisition extends HGST's presence in the market for corporate solid-state drives (SSD), which IDC forecasts will grow to $7B by 2017 from $2.5B in 2012.
- The deal is expected to close in Q4. (PR)
Aug. 29, 2013, 5:01 PM
- Worldwide PC shipments are expected to fall 9.7% in 2013, according to IDC. Today's figure represents the second time the research firm has slashed its projection, from -7.8% in May, and from an original -1.3% back in March.
- Tablets are the main transgressor, IDC noted. And China and other developing economies, which were once healthy drivers of PC sales, have seen demand dry up at even faster rates than developed markets.
- Cannibalization appears to favor the small, as IDC nudged its 2013 tablet forecast to 227.4M, from 229.3M previously. To blame? New smartphones with large screens and the release of wearable devices like smart watches.
- The ever-dimming light at the end of the tunnel bodes poorly for MSFT, INTC, DELL, HPQ, STX, WDC, MU, AMD, and NVDA.
- Previous: Global PC shipments fell 10.9% Y/Y in Q2 to 76M
Aug. 29, 2013, 2:51 PM
Jul. 25, 2013, 12:05 PMBuy the dip in Western Digital (WDC -6.2%) says FBN's Shebly Seyrafi, calling at least some of this morning's decline profit-taking, though he does worry the quarter's operating expenses came in higher than expected. Craig-Hallum's Christian Schwab downgrades to Sell, arguing there's no growth in the business. Needham's Rich Kugele reiterates his Strong Buy and $77 PT, noting outperformance on margins and earnings despite some handicaps. Seagate (STX -4.7%) slips with analysts suggesting there's been a slight share-shift to Western as Seagate avoided weak pricing in the PC market. | 3 Comments
Jul. 25, 2013, 9:15 AM
Jul. 24, 2013, 5:44 PMWestern Digital (WDC) guides on its FQ4 call for FQ1 revenue of $3.7B-$3.8B and EPS of $1.95-$2.05, largely unfavorable to a consensus of $3.77B and $2.05. Shares now -5.9% AH. Seagate (STX) -2.1% in sympathy. In its quarterly fact sheet, WDC states its total hard drive shipments fell 16% Y/Y in FQ4 to 59.9M, as 27% and 24% drops in notebook and desktop drive shipments (over 2/3 of total shipments) offset consumer electronics and branded drive growth, and roughly flat enterprise shipments. WDC and STX both fell in regular trading thanks to Seagate's numbers (I, II, III). | Comment!
Jul. 24, 2013, 4:17 PM
Jul. 24, 2013, 10:57 AMSeagate (STX -8.7%) has guided on its CC for FQ1 revenue of $3.5B-$3.6B, in-line with a $3.56 consensus. Needham is pleased, and is reiterating Buys on Seagate and Western Digital (WDC -1.9%). But as SA commenter alph124 observes, Seagate's declining cash flow in the face of slumping PC drive shipments has some investors worried. FQ4 free cash flow totaled $266M, well below net income of $447M, and operating cash flow fell to just $394M from $1.4B a year ago. Seagate has issued a new $2.5B buyback authorization, raising its available funds to $3.3B. But unless Seagate's buyback pace picks up, it'll be a while before those funds are use up. (Seagate's FQ4: I, II) | 1 Comment
Jul. 24, 2013, 9:51 AMSeagate (STX -5.4%) opens lower following its FQ4 report, and takes Western Digital (WDC -1.2%) down with it. Gross margin was 28%, +40 bps Q/Q and -560 bps Y/Y. PC drive shipments -5% Q/Q and -25% Y/Y to 34.7M. Client Non-Compute (consumer electronics, removable storage, etc.) -6% Q/Q and -3% Y/Y to 10.9M, and high-margin Enterprise Storage +9% Q/Q and -4% Y/Y to 8.2M (3.7M mission-critical drives, 4.5M near-line storage). Only $42M was spent on buybacks, down from $102M in FQ3. Average GB/drive was at 855, up from 842 in FQ3 and 692 in the year-ago period. Retail made up 11% of sales, up from 7% a year ago. (PR) (slides) (CFO comments) | 1 Comment
Jul. 22, 2013, 2:02 PMA Minnesota court rules a $630M arbitration award granted to Seagate (STX -0.8%) in a dispute with Western Digital (WDC +0.9%) over the alleged theft of trade secrets by an ex-Seagate employee be confirmed. A court had vacated the award last October. Both Seagate and Western Digital's June quarter reports arrive on Thursday. | Comment!
Jul. 20, 2013, 8:15 AMWith the major averages edging towards pricey territory, Andrew Bary of Barron's screens the S&P 500 for stocks trading at single-digit multiples, then narrows the list to those whose prospects can be argued to be good. The names are all familiar ones, but their presence on the list may surprise: VLO, MPC, HPQ, FCX, ESV, PSX, GM, MET, WDC, PRU, APA, JPM, C, DE, AAPL. | 21 Comments
Jul. 19, 2013, 11:16 AMCiti upgrades Seagate (STX +0.6%) and Western Digital (WDC +0.2%) to Neutral, and in doing so lets the hard drive makers avoid the general selloff taking place in PC-exposed names following Microsoft's FQ4 miss, which was accompanied by poor Windows OEM sales figures and guidance. Citi downgraded STX and WDC to Sell on Oct. 12, 2012; they've had a good run since. | 4 Comments
Jul. 10, 2013, 4:29 PMGlobal PC shipments fell 10.9% Y/Y in Q2 to 76M, estimates Gartner. That's nearly even with the 11.2% drop the firm estimated for Q1, and backs up recent analyst commentary (I, II). Gartner: "In emerging markets, inexpensive tablets have become the first computing device for many people." One bright spot: U.S. shipments fell only 1.4% Y/Y, and rose 8.5% Q/Q; Gartner thinks this was due to enterprise strength. EMEA shipments -16.8%, Asia-Pac -11.5%. Affected companies: MSFT, INTC, DELL, HPQ, STX, WDC, MU, AMD, NVDA. (IDC's Q1 data) (tablet forecast) Update: IDC estimates global Q2 shipments fell 11.4%, and U.S. shipments 1.9%. | 2 Comments
Jul. 10, 2013, 10:15 AMWestern Digital (WDC +0.6%) follows up on the sTec purchase by acquiring VeloBit, a developer of server-based SSD caching software that improves I/O performance for databases and enterprise applications. VeloBit's software, which has received good reviews, will be integrated with WDC's SSDs, presumably including sTec's. Deal terms are undisclosed. | Comment!
Jul. 9, 2013, 9:39 AMA roundup of tech analyst ratings changes: 1) Sprint (S +0.6%) has received an upgrade to Outperform from Cowen in response to the SoftBank deal. 2) H-P (HPQ +0.9%) has been upgraded to Buy by Brean. 3) Nokia (NOK +2.9%) has been downgraded to Neutra by Swedbank. 4) Western Digital (WDC +0.8%) has been started at Outperform, and Seagate (STX +0.5%) at Neutral, by Piper. 5) Crown Castle (CCI +0.4%) has been downgraded to Equal Weight by Evercore. 6) International Rectifier (IRF +3.4%) has been upgraded to Strong Buy by Raymond James. 7) Freescale (FSL +5%) has been upgraded to Overweight by Piper. 8) Synchronoss (SNCR -7.4%) has been downgraded to Sell by Goldman. 9) SolarCity (SCTY -2%) has been started at Hold by Maxim. 10) Ixia (XXIA -22.7%) has been downgraded to Hold by Stifel in response to its Q2 warning. | 3 Comments
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Western Digital Corp is a developer, manufacturer & provider of data storage solutions that enable consumers, businesses, governments & other organizations to create, manage, experience & preserve digital content. Its product include; HDDs and SSDs.
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