SanDisk +3.7%; Morgan Stanley's NAND checks positive

|By:, SA News Editor

"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.

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