Western Digital Corp. (WDC) Upgraded to “Buy” at Zacks Investment Research
Western Digital Corp. (NASDAQ:WDC) was upgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research note issued on Wednesday. The brokerage currently has a $60.00 price objective on the data storage provider’s stock. Zacks Investment Research’s price target indicates a potential upside of 11.13% from the stock’s previous close.
According to Zacks, “Western Digital is likely to benefit from the improving prices of NAND chips as the company has forayed into this space with the acquisition of SanDsik. Off late, NAND prices have improved primarily due to a better product mix optimization and stronger-than-expected demand for servers and mobiles. Moreover, industry experts believe that total demand could surpass manufacturing capacity, leading to a periodic shortage and higher pricing in the near term. We believe that any increase in prices will have a favorable impact on the company’s top line, the benefit of which is likely to flow down to the bottom line. Meanwhile, estimates have been going up ahead of the company's Q1 earnings release. However, stiff competition from other major players still remains cause of concern. Gartner’s latest prediction regarding PC shipments casts a shadow on the stock’s future performance.”
Several other equities analysts also recently issued reports on WDC. Argus reaffirmed a “buy” rating on shares of Western Digital Corp. in a research note on Saturday, July 9th. Brean Capital reiterated a “buy” rating on shares of Western Digital Corp. in a research report on Tuesday, June 28th. Rosenblatt Securities reiterated a “neutral” rating on shares of Western Digital Corp. in a research report on Friday, July 8th. Citigroup Inc. set a $65.00 price objective on shares of Western Digital Corp. and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research report on Wednesday, September 7th. Finally, FBN Securities reiterated a “sector perform” rating and set a $55.00 price objective (up from $50.00) on shares of Western Digital Corp. in a research report on Thursday, September 8th. Two research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, eight have issued a hold rating, twenty-four have given a buy rating and two have issued a strong buy rating to the stock. The company presently has an average rating of “Buy” and an average price target of $64.73.
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Shares of Western Digital Corp. (NASDAQ:WDC) opened at 53.99 on Wednesday. The company has a 50-day moving average of $54.54 and a 200 day moving average of $47.59. The company has a market capitalization of $15.35 billion, a PE ratio of 53.99 and a beta of 1.28. Western Digital Corp. has a 52-week low of $34.99 and a 52-week high of $78.77.
Western Digital Corp. (NASDAQ:WDC) last issued its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, July 28th. The data storage provider reported $0.79 EPS for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.71 by $0.08. The business earned $3.50 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $3.44 billion. Western Digital Corp. had a net margin of 1.98% and a return on equity of 12.42%. The firm’s revenue was up 9.5% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter in the prior year, the firm earned $1.51 EPS. Analysts predict that Western Digital Corp. will post $4.60 earnings per share for the current year.
The business also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Monday, October 17th. Shareholders of record on Friday, September 30th were paid a $0.50 dividend. The ex-dividend date was Wednesday, September 28th. This represents a $2.00 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 3.70%. Western Digital Corp.’s dividend payout ratio is presently 158.73%.
In other news, insider Michael D. Cordano sold 18,250 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, October 3rd. The shares were sold at an average price of $59.15, for a total value of $1,079,487.50. Following the completion of the sale, the insider now directly owns 58,153 shares in the company, valued at approximately $3,439,749.95. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is available at this hyperlink. Also, EVP Michael Charles Ray sold 6,183 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, October 3rd. The stock was sold at an average price of $60.00, for a total transaction of $370,980.00. Following the completion of the sale, the executive vice president now owns 42,941 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $2,576,460. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. 0.46% of the stock is currently owned by company insiders.
Large investors have recently made changes to their positions in the company. Vanguard Group Inc. raised its stake in Western Digital Corp. by 24.7% in the second quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 24,858,936 shares of the data storage provider’s stock worth $1,174,834,000 after buying an additional 4,925,997 shares in the last quarter. State Street Corp raised its stake in Western Digital Corp. by 7.7% in the second quarter. State Street Corp now owns 10,767,538 shares of the data storage provider’s stock worth $508,875,000 after buying an additional 772,439 shares in the last quarter. American International Group Inc. raised its stake in Western Digital Corp. by 8,124.5% in the second quarter. American International Group Inc. now owns 9,620,001 shares of the data storage provider’s stock worth $454,641,000 after buying an additional 9,503,034 shares in the last quarter. BlackRock Institutional Trust Company N.A. raised its stake in Western Digital Corp. by 9.8% in the second quarter. BlackRock Institutional Trust Company N.A. now owns 7,225,832 shares of the data storage provider’s stock worth $341,493,000 after buying an additional 646,379 shares in the last quarter. Finally, BlackRock Fund Advisors raised its stake in Western Digital Corp. by 25.1% in the second quarter. BlackRock Fund Advisors now owns 4,625,720 shares of the data storage provider’s stock worth $218,612,000 after buying an additional 929,412 shares in the last quarter. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 86.80% of the company’s stock.
About Western Digital Corp.
Western Digital Corporation (Western Digital) is a developer, manufacturer and provider of data storage solutions that enable consumers, businesses, governments and other organizations to create, manage, experience and preserve digital content. The Company’s product portfolio includes hard disk drives (HDDs), solid-state drives, direct attached storage solutions, personal cloud network attached storage solutions, and public and private cloud data center storage solutions.
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