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SanDisk Corp. (SNDK - Analyst Report) recently unveiled two product suites targeted to improve the computing and mobile computing experience. The newly launched USB (Universal Serial Bus) flash drive suite and Memory Card have been made available worldwide.
SanDisk’s latest offerings include Extreme, Cruzer Glide, Cruzer Facet and Cruzer Pop in the USB drive suite. Extreme drive, based on USB 3.0 standard, will help in carrying and sharing digital content such as songs, movies and story books easily. The company asserts that the drive will be capable of transferring files 10 times faster than the USB 2.0 enabled device. The drive will be available in 16 gigabyte (GB) and 64GB capacities.
SanDisk’s Cruzer family is also set to help users with its unique features. Cruzer Glide gives highest possible flash storage to an Ultrabook user. Cruzer Facet comes with a durable body made of steel and various trendy designs. Cruzer Pop targets fashionable youngsters who love to sport their personality through gadgets.
Coming to memory cards, SanDisk’s Extreme Pro microSDHC UHS-I card is expected to boost storage capacity for the smartphone and tablet users. The cards will enhance the picture quality during a video or photo shoot. Fastest file downloads and sharing will also be inseparable parts.
With these new launches, we expect SanDisk to strengthen its market position. In fiscal 2011, Gartner recognized Kingston Technology, the USB drive market leader with roughly 30.0% share, the second position being conferred to SanDisk (22.0%). However, according to Gartner, SanDisk headed the flash card market with roughly 40% share in 2011, followed by Samsung Electronics (15.0%) and Toshiba (11.0%).
SanDisk has started upgrading its products to the USB 3.0 standard. USB 3.0 is an upgraded iteration of USB 2.0 and is capable of transfer speeds of up to 5Gbps (gigabits per second) compared to USB 2.0's transfer speed of 480Mbps (mega bytes per second). This advantage is likely to drive adoption of USB 3.0.
Moreover, Intel Corp.’s (INTC - Analyst Report) latest Ivy Bridge CPU (central processing unit) supports USB 3.0, which means that the Ivy Bridge rollout will be a big boost to the demand for USB 3.0 enabled flash drives this year. This should be a positive for SanDisk.
We also think that SanDisk has already taken this growth potential into consideration while guiding for better results in the second half of fiscal 2012. During the first quarter conference call, SanDisk mentioned that it expects higher demand for its mobile and SSD solutions, which will likely boost revenue growth in the third and fourth quarters. The company also expects to witness a more favorable pricing environment.
But lackluster PC sales, European issues and currency fluctuations keep us on the sidelines. Currently, SanDisk holds a Zacks #3 Rank, implying a short-term Hold rating.