Short Interest in Western Digital Corp (WDC) Declines By 27.5%

Western Digital Corp (NASDAQ:WDC) was the target of a significant drop in short interest in the month of January. As of January 31st, there was short interest totalling 9,565,690 shares, a drop of 27.5% from the January 12th total of 13,185,391 shares. Based on an average daily trading volume, of 5,391,236 shares, the short-interest ratio is currently 1.8 days. Currently, 3.3% of the company’s shares are short sold.

A number of research analysts recently issued reports on the company. BidaskClub upgraded Western Digital from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Wednesday, December 13th. UBS Group lifted their target price on Western Digital from $93.00 to $97.00 and gave the company a “neutral” rating in a report on Friday, October 27th. Benchmark reiterated a “buy” rating and issued a $130.00 target price on shares of Western Digital in a report on Tuesday, December 26th. Royal Bank of Canada reiterated a “buy” rating on shares of Western Digital in a report on Friday, December 22nd. Finally, Vetr lowered Western Digital from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating and set a $95.09 target price for the company. in a report on Tuesday, November 21st. Thirteen analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating, twenty-two have assigned a buy rating and two have assigned a strong buy rating to the stock. The company has a consensus rating of “Buy” and an average target price of $111.78.

In related news, insider Michael D. Cordano sold 1,397 shares of Western Digital stock in a transaction on Monday, November 13th. The stock was sold at an average price of $88.13, for a total value of $123,117.61. Following the completion of the transaction, the insider now directly owns 70,556 shares in the company, valued at $6,218,100.28. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is available at the SEC website. Also, EVP Michael Charles Ray sold 4,387 shares of Western Digital stock in a transaction on Monday, February 5th. The shares were sold at an average price of $84.20, for a total value of $369,385.40. Following the completion of the transaction, the executive vice president now owns 43,323 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $3,647,796.60. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last 90 days, insiders have sold 158,393 shares of company stock valued at $13,801,887. Company insiders own 0.31% of the company’s stock.

A number of hedge funds have recently modified their holdings of the stock. Iridian Asset Management LLC CT increased its position in Western Digital by 1.2% in the 4th quarter. Iridian Asset Management LLC CT now owns 5,989,267 shares of the data storage provider’s stock valued at $476,326,000 after acquiring an additional 68,610 shares during the period. Bank of New York Mellon Corp increased its position in Western Digital by 22.3% in the 3rd quarter. Bank of New York Mellon Corp now owns 3,281,695 shares of the data storage provider’s stock valued at $283,538,000 after acquiring an additional 598,563 shares during the period. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP increased its position in Western Digital by 2.8% in the 3rd quarter. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP now owns 3,086,925 shares of the data storage provider’s stock valued at $266,720,000 after acquiring an additional 83,030 shares during the period. UBS Asset Management Americas Inc. increased its position in Western Digital by 20.7% in the 4th quarter. UBS Asset Management Americas Inc. now owns 3,070,049 shares of the data storage provider’s stock valued at $244,161,000 after acquiring an additional 526,741 shares during the period. Finally, Neuberger Berman Group LLC increased its position in Western Digital by 0.8% in the 3rd quarter. Neuberger Berman Group LLC now owns 2,638,934 shares of the data storage provider’s stock valued at $228,004,000 after acquiring an additional 19,647 shares during the period. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 84.52% of the company’s stock.

Shares of Western Digital (WDC) opened at $80.59 on Friday. The company has a current ratio of 2.55, a quick ratio of 2.03 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.04. Western Digital has a 52-week low of $71.38 and a 52-week high of $95.77. The company has a market capitalization of $23,790.00, a PE ratio of 66.60, a PEG ratio of 0.35 and a beta of 1.13.

Western Digital (NASDAQ:WDC) last posted its earnings results on Thursday, January 25th. The data storage provider reported $3.95 EPS for the quarter, topping the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $3.51 by $0.44. The business had revenue of $5.34 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $5.31 billion. Western Digital had a return on equity of 30.78% and a net margin of 1.93%. The business’s revenue was up 9.2% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter in the previous year, the firm earned $2.30 earnings per share. research analysts forecast that Western Digital will post 12.62 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The business also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Monday, April 16th. Investors of record on Friday, March 30th will be given a $0.50 dividend. This represents a $2.00 annualized dividend and a yield of 2.48%. The ex-dividend date is Thursday, March 29th. Western Digital’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 165.29%.

Western Digital declared that its Board of Directors has initiated a stock buyback plan on Thursday, November 9th that authorizes the company to repurchase $2.10 billion in outstanding shares. This repurchase authorization authorizes the data storage provider to buy shares of its stock through open market purchases. Stock repurchase plans are generally a sign that the company’s leadership believes its stock is undervalued.

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About Western Digital

Western Digital Corporation (Western Digital) is a developer, manufacturer and provider of data storage devices and solutions that address the needs of the information technology (IT) industry and the infrastructure that enables the proliferation of data in virtually every industry. The Company’s portfolio of offerings addresses three categories: Datacenter Devices and Solutions (capacity and performance enterprise hard disk drives (HDDs), enterprise solid state drives (SSDs), datacenter software and system solutions); Client Devices (mobile, desktop, gaming and digital video hard drives, client SSDs, embedded products and wafers), and Client Solutions (removable products, hard drive content solutions and flash content solutions).

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