Guggenheim Reiterates “Buy” Rating for Western Digital (WDC)
Western Digital (NASDAQ:WDC)‘s stock had its “buy” rating reissued by research analysts at Guggenheim in a research report issued to clients and investors on Monday. They presently have a $125.00 price objective on the data storage provider’s stock. Guggenheim’s price objective would suggest a potential upside of 115.15% from the company’s current price.
The analysts wrote, “We continue to estimate WDC’s EPS cycling down to ~$10 in CY19E but believe that is far better than many believe, with risk that sentiment might not trough until NAND margins do in Mar/Jun-19 (our cyclical forecast for a year now), but with today’s stock price more than discounting that.””
WDC has been the topic of several other reports. Evercore ISI cut their price objective on shares of Western Digital from $130.00 to $100.00 and set an “outperform” rating on the stock in a research report on Tuesday, July 17th. Royal Bank of Canada downgraded shares of Western Digital from an “outperform” rating to a “sector perform” rating and dropped their price target for the company from $95.00 to $70.00 in a report on Tuesday, September 11th. Bank of America dropped their price target on shares of Western Digital from $120.00 to $110.00 and set a “buy” rating on the stock in a report on Friday, July 27th. Longbow Research set a $100.00 price target on shares of Western Digital and gave the company a “buy” rating in a report on Thursday, September 6th. Finally, Maxim Group reaffirmed a “buy” rating and set a $126.00 price target on shares of Western Digital in a report on Friday, July 27th. Two equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, twelve have given a hold rating and eighteen have given a buy rating to the company. The stock currently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and an average target price of $100.56.
Western Digital (NASDAQ:WDC) last announced its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, July 26th. The data storage provider reported $3.61 EPS for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $3.20 by $0.41. Western Digital had a net margin of 3.27% and a return on equity of 36.35%. The company had revenue of $5.12 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $5.07 billion. During the same period in the prior year, the firm posted $2.93 EPS. Western Digital’s revenue for the quarter was up 5.7% on a year-over-year basis. analysts forecast that Western Digital will post 10.71 EPS for the current year.
Western Digital declared that its Board of Directors has authorized a stock buyback program on Thursday, July 26th that allows the company to repurchase $5.00 billion in outstanding shares. This repurchase authorization allows the data storage provider to buy up to 22.3% of its stock through open market purchases. Stock repurchase programs are often a sign that the company’s leadership believes its shares are undervalued.
In other news, CFO Mark P. Long sold 2,233 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, August 3rd. The shares were sold at an average price of $68.74, for a total value of $153,496.42. Following the transaction, the chief financial officer now owns 191,154 shares in the company, valued at approximately $13,139,925.96. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through the SEC website. Also, CFO Mark P. Long sold 1,214 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, August 6th. The stock was sold at an average price of $67.65, for a total transaction of $82,127.10. Following the completion of the transaction, the chief financial officer now owns 191,154 shares in the company, valued at approximately $12,931,568.10. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold a total of 32,772 shares of company stock worth $2,298,763 in the last quarter. Company insiders own 0.31% of the company’s stock.
Large investors have recently modified their holdings of the company. BlackRock Inc. raised its stake in Western Digital by 9.2% during the 2nd quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 21,040,844 shares of the data storage provider’s stock worth $1,628,774,000 after acquiring an additional 1,772,435 shares during the period. LSV Asset Management raised its stake in Western Digital by 4.6% during the 2nd quarter. LSV Asset Management now owns 3,398,246 shares of the data storage provider’s stock worth $263,058,000 after acquiring an additional 149,934 shares during the period. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP raised its stake in Western Digital by 1.7% during the 2nd quarter. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP now owns 3,060,836 shares of the data storage provider’s stock worth $236,931,000 after acquiring an additional 49,960 shares during the period. Wells Fargo & Company MN raised its stake in Western Digital by 6.2% during the 2nd quarter. Wells Fargo & Company MN now owns 2,321,676 shares of the data storage provider’s stock worth $179,720,000 after acquiring an additional 135,550 shares during the period. Finally, TCW Group Inc. raised its stake in Western Digital by 2.9% during the 2nd quarter. TCW Group Inc. now owns 2,160,384 shares of the data storage provider’s stock worth $167,236,000 after acquiring an additional 61,116 shares during the period. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 83.06% of the company’s stock.
Western Digital Company Profile
Western Digital Corporation develops, manufactures, and sells data storage devices and solutions worldwide. It offers client devices, including hard disk drives (HDDs) and solid state drives (SSDs) for computing devices, such as desktop and notebook PCs, security surveillance systems, gaming consoles, and set top boxes; flash-based embedded storage products for mobile phones, tablets, notebook PCs, and other portable and wearable devices, as well as automotive, IoT, industrial, and connected home applications; flash-based memory wafers; and embedded storage solutions and iNAND embedded flash products, such as multi-chip package solutions.
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