Morgan Stanley Boosts Holdings in Western Digital Corp (WDC)
Morgan Stanley lifted its stake in shares of Western Digital Corp (NASDAQ:WDC) by 60.5% during the second quarter, Holdings Channel reports. The fund owned 2,060,384 shares of the data storage provider’s stock after purchasing an additional 776,556 shares during the quarter. Morgan Stanley’s holdings in Western Digital were worth $159,493,000 at the end of the most recent reporting period.
Other institutional investors and hedge funds also recently bought and sold shares of the company. Migdal Insurance & Financial Holdings Ltd. boosted its stake in shares of Western Digital by 16,520.0% during the second quarter. Migdal Insurance & Financial Holdings Ltd. now owns 1,662 shares of the data storage provider’s stock valued at $129,000 after acquiring an additional 1,652 shares during the last quarter. Financial Gravity Wealth Inc. purchased a new position in Western Digital during the first quarter worth about $145,000. Assetmark Inc. lifted its position in Western Digital by 437.9% during the first quarter. Assetmark Inc. now owns 1,673 shares of the data storage provider’s stock worth $154,000 after buying an additional 1,362 shares during the period. Legacy Financial Advisors Inc. lifted its position in Western Digital by 32,283.3% during the second quarter. Legacy Financial Advisors Inc. now owns 1,943 shares of the data storage provider’s stock worth $155,000 after buying an additional 1,937 shares during the period. Finally, Squar Milner Financial Services LLC purchased a new position in Western Digital during the second quarter worth about $165,000. 83.06% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.
Several equities analysts recently weighed in on the company. Royal Bank of Canada reduced their target price on Western Digital to $95.00 and set an “in-line” rating on the stock in a research report on Friday, July 27th. Cowen downgraded Western Digital from an “outperform” rating to a “market perform” rating and set a $70.00 target price on the stock. in a research report on Wednesday, August 15th. Guggenheim reiterated a “buy” rating and set a $125.00 target price on shares of Western Digital in a research report on Monday. BMO Capital Markets reduced their target price on Western Digital from $90.00 to $74.00 and set a “market perform” rating on the stock in a research report on Friday, July 27th. Finally, Maxim Group reiterated a “buy” rating and set a $126.00 target price on shares of Western Digital in a research report on Friday, July 27th. Two research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, twelve have assigned a hold rating and eighteen have given a buy rating to the stock. The company has an average rating of “Buy” and a consensus price target of $100.56.
Western Digital (NASDAQ:WDC) last announced its earnings results on Thursday, July 26th. The data storage provider reported $3.61 EPS for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate of $3.20 by $0.41. The business had revenue of $5.12 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $5.07 billion. Western Digital had a return on equity of 36.35% and a net margin of 3.27%. The company’s revenue was up 5.7% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period last year, the business posted $2.93 EPS. equities analysts forecast that Western Digital Corp will post 10.71 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.
The business also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Monday, October 15th. Investors of record on Friday, September 28th will be issued a dividend of $0.50 per share. The ex-dividend date is Thursday, September 27th. This represents a $2.00 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 3.50%. Western Digital’s payout ratio is currently 14.80%.
Western Digital announced that its Board of Directors has approved a stock repurchase plan on Thursday, July 26th that authorizes the company to buyback $5.00 billion in outstanding shares. This buyback authorization authorizes the data storage provider to purchase up to 22.3% of its stock through open market purchases. Stock buyback plans are generally an indication that the company’s board believes its stock is undervalued.
In related news, insider Mark P. Long sold 24,938 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Monday, July 30th. The stock was sold at an average price of $70.83, for a total transaction of $1,766,358.54. Following the sale, the insider now directly owns 215,963 shares in the company, valued at approximately $15,296,659.29. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is accessible through this link. Also, EVP Michael Charles Ray sold 4,387 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Monday, August 6th. The shares were sold at an average price of $67.65, for a total value of $296,780.55. Following the sale, the executive vice president now owns 107,155 shares in the company, valued at $7,249,035.75. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last quarter, insiders have sold 32,772 shares of company stock worth $2,298,763. Company insiders own 0.31% 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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