Western Digital (WDC) Receives Buy Rating from Guggenheim
“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.”,” the firm’s analyst wrote.
Several other equities analysts have also issued reports on the company. Goldman Sachs Group lowered Western Digital to a hold rating and set a $63.00 target price for the company. in a report on Wednesday, September 12th. Royal Bank of Canada lowered Western Digital from an outperform rating to a sector perform rating and reduced their target price for the company from $95.00 to $70.00 in a report on Tuesday, September 11th. Longbow Research set a $100.00 target price on Western Digital and gave the company a buy rating in a report on Thursday, September 6th. Cowen lowered Western Digital from an outperform rating to a market perform rating and set a $70.00 target price for the company. in a report on Wednesday, August 15th. Finally, BidaskClub lowered Western Digital from a sell rating to a strong sell rating in a report on Thursday, August 2nd. Two research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, twelve have given a hold rating and eighteen have assigned a buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock presently has an average rating of Buy and an average price target of $100.56.
Western Digital (NASDAQ:WDC) last released its earnings results on Thursday, July 26th. The data storage provider reported $3.61 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate of $3.20 by $0.41. The company had revenue of $5.12 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $5.07 billion. Western Digital had a return on equity of 36.35% and a net margin of 3.27%. Western Digital’s quarterly revenue was up 5.7% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period in the prior year, the company posted $2.93 earnings per share. analysts expect that Western Digital will post 10.71 EPS for the current year.
Western Digital declared that its Board of Directors has authorized a stock repurchase plan on Thursday, July 26th that permits the company to buyback $5.00 billion in shares. This buyback authorization permits the data storage provider to purchase up to 22.3% of its shares through open market purchases. Shares buyback plans are usually an indication that the company’s management believes its shares are undervalued.
The company also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Monday, October 15th. Shareholders of record on Friday, September 28th will be issued a dividend of $0.50 per share. This represents a $2.00 annualized dividend and a yield of 3.50%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Thursday, September 27th. Western Digital’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is 14.80%.
In other Western Digital news, CFO Mark P. Long sold 1,214 shares of the stock in a transaction 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 directly owns 191,154 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $12,931,568.10. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is available through the SEC website. Also, CFO Mark P. Long sold 2,233 shares of the stock in a transaction on Friday, August 3rd. The stock was sold at an average price of $68.74, for a total value of $153,496.42. Following the sale, the chief financial officer now owns 191,154 shares in the company, valued at approximately $13,139,925.96. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last three months, insiders have sold 32,772 shares of company stock valued at $2,298,763. 0.31% of the stock is owned by corporate insiders.
Several large investors have recently bought and sold shares of the business. BlackRock Inc. lifted its position in shares of Western Digital by 9.2% during the second 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 in the last quarter. LSV Asset Management raised its position in shares of Western Digital by 4.6% in the second quarter. LSV Asset Management now owns 3,398,246 shares of the data storage provider’s stock worth $263,058,000 after buying an additional 149,934 shares in the last quarter. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP raised its position in shares of Western Digital by 1.7% in the second quarter. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP now owns 3,060,836 shares of the data storage provider’s stock worth $236,931,000 after buying an additional 49,960 shares in the last quarter. Wells Fargo & Company MN raised its position in shares of Western Digital by 6.2% in the second quarter. Wells Fargo & Company MN now owns 2,321,676 shares of the data storage provider’s stock worth $179,720,000 after buying an additional 135,550 shares in the last quarter. Finally, TCW Group Inc. raised its position in shares of Western Digital by 2.9% in the second quarter. TCW Group Inc. now owns 2,160,384 shares of the data storage provider’s stock worth $167,236,000 after buying an additional 61,116 shares in the last quarter. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 83.12% of the company’s stock.
About Western Digital
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.
Further Reading: Understanding Analyst Recommendations
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