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Bull of the Day: Western Digital (WDC)

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Headquartered in Irvine, CA, Western Digital Corporation (WDC - Free Report) is a leading provider of storage technologies and solutions. They are one of the largest hard disk drive (HDD) producers in the US. They design, develop, manufacture and market a broad range of HDDs, which are used in numerous consumer electronic devices.

With the acquisition of SanDisk, the company has ventured into the flash drive storage technology space.

Better-than-expected Results

On January 25, WDC reported results for their second fiscal quarter ended Dec. 29, 2017, beating on both the top and bottom lines.  

Non-GAAP earnings of $3.95 per share, were ahead of the Zacks Consensus Estimate by 14 cents and up 71.7% year-over-year. Revenues jumped 9.2% year-over-year thanks to strong demand in the company’s end-markets.

"We continued our strong financial performance in the December quarter, with nine percent year-over-year revenue growth, driven by each of our major end market categories and solid execution by our team," said the CEO.

"We once again generated strong operating cash flow, reflecting continued healthy demand in our end markets, most notably for our capacity enterprise hard drives and flash-based products.”

Rising Estimates

Analysts have been raising the estimates for the company after strong results. Zacks Consensus Estimates for the current and next year have surged to $13.98 per share and $12.33 per share, from $13.46 and $11.98 respectively, before the results. Rising estimates sent the stock back to a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy).

Western Digital Corporation Price, Consensus and EPS Surprise

Western Digital Corporation Price, Consensus and EPS Surprise | Western Digital Corporation Quote

 Excellent Industry Outlook

“The world’s most valuable resource is no longer oil, but data,” according to the Economist. Per WDC, stored data is expected to increase four times by 2020. In the current data driven economy, data storage provides the foundational infrastructure.

Computer Storage currently has a Zacks Industry Rank of 43 out of 265 (top 16%).

Bottom-Line

Data storage space has been hot of late, with rising demand among others from cloud and mobility-based applications. In addition to a top Zacks Stocks Rank and favorable industry rank, the stock has Style Score of “A” for Value as well as VGM.

It is currently trading at an attractive valuation of 6.5 times forward earnings. It also has a juicy dividend yield of 2.2%.

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