Western Digital Corp. (NASDAQ:WDC) was upgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research note issued to investors on Wednesday. The brokerage currently has a $60.00 price target on the data storage provider’s stock. Zacks Investment Research’s price target points to a potential upside of 11.13% from the company’s current price.
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.”
Other research analysts have also recently issued research reports about the stock. Argus restated a “buy” rating on shares of Western Digital Corp. in a report on Saturday, July 9th. BTIG Research increased their target price on shares of Western Digital Corp. from $60.00 to $66.00 and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a report on Wednesday, September 7th. Cowen and Company increased their target price on shares of Western Digital Corp. from $55.00 to $58.00 and gave the stock an “outperform” rating in a report on Wednesday, September 7th. Stifel Nicolaus restated a “buy” rating and set a $75.00 target price on shares of Western Digital Corp. in a report on Tuesday, July 5th. Finally, Vetr lowered shares of Western Digital Corp. from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating and set a $50.42 price target on the stock. in a research report on Monday, June 27th. Two investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, eight have issued a hold rating, twenty-four have assigned a buy rating and two have given a strong buy rating to the stock. Western Digital Corp. currently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and a consensus target price of $64.73.
Shares of Western Digital Corp. (NASDAQ:WDC) opened at 53.99 on Wednesday. The firm has a 50-day moving average of $54.54 and a 200-day moving average of $47.59. The stock has a market cap of $15.35 billion, a P/E 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 announced its earnings results on Thursday, July 28th. The data storage provider reported $0.79 EPS for the quarter, topping the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.71 by $0.08. Western Digital Corp. had a net margin of 1.98% and a return on equity of 12.42%. The business earned $3.50 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $3.44 billion. During the same quarter in the prior year, the company posted $1.51 earnings per share. The firm’s revenue was up 9.5% on a year-over-year basis. On average, equities analysts expect that Western Digital Corp. will post $4.60 EPS for the current fiscal year.
The business also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Monday, October 17th. Stockholders 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 dividend yield of 3.70%. Western Digital Corp.’s payout ratio is currently 158.73%.
In related news, insider Michael D. Cordano sold 18,250 shares of the firm’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 transaction, the insider now 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 can be accessed through this link. Also, insider Michael D. Cordano sold 7,185 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Wednesday, September 21st. The shares were sold at an average price of $54.50, for a total transaction of $391,582.50. Following the completion of the transaction, the insider now owns 82,988 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $4,522,846. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. 0.46% of the stock is currently owned by insiders.
A number of hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently modified their holdings of the stock. MUFG Americas Holdings Corp raised its position in shares of Western Digital Corp. by 0.9% in the second quarter. MUFG Americas Holdings Corp now owns 2,468 shares of the data storage provider’s stock worth $117,000 after buying an additional 21 shares during the period. Texas Yale Capital Corp. raised its position in shares of Western Digital Corp. by 0.9% in the second quarter. Texas Yale Capital Corp. now owns 7,637 shares of the data storage provider’s stock worth $361,000 after buying an additional 69 shares during the period. Rothschild Investment Corp IL raised its position in shares of Western Digital Corp. by 0.6% in the third quarter. Rothschild Investment Corp IL now owns 11,493 shares of the data storage provider’s stock worth $672,000 after buying an additional 71 shares during the period. Boothbay Fund Management LLC raised its position in shares of Western Digital Corp. by 1.2% in the first quarter. Boothbay Fund Management LLC now owns 5,998 shares of the data storage provider’s stock worth $283,000 after buying an additional 72 shares during the period. Finally, Raymond James Trust N.A. raised its position in shares of Western Digital Corp. by 1.4% in the third quarter. Raymond James Trust N.A. now owns 5,595 shares of the data storage provider’s stock worth $327,000 after buying an additional 79 shares during the period. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 86.80% of the company’s stock.
Western Digital Corp. Company Profile
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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