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To: Sam who wrote (52343)2/26/2012 8:17:03 AM
From: Mbert
2 Recommendations   of 57864
 
"We have locked in approximately 60% of our yen requirements for 2012, and based on the cost of those contracts, as well as current market rates, we forecast an approximately 5% increase in the dollar cost of our yen-based wafer purchases."

Judy Bruner on the Q4 CC.

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To: Mbert who wrote (52344)2/26/2012 9:41:24 AM
From: Sam
   of 57864
 
Well, that was the prudent thing to do, since no one could know where the yen would bottom. Heck, we still don't really know that it has bottomed, even though fundamentally it seems like it should. But it has seemed that way for a long time now.

But it will mute the effects of a stronger dollar for 2012.

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To: Sam who wrote (52345)2/26/2012 11:02:58 AM
From: Mbert
   of 57864
 
I'm not disagreeing with you Sam. Just trying to add some clarity to the discussion. Hedging costs money. The Barcelona Mobile Show is starting so we'll hear of many new mobile devices, all presumably using NAND. I think someone posted this piece earlier, but I just got around to reading it:

SanDisk Setting Up For Positive Surprises

While we have a favorable view on shares, we have one fairly meaningful concern. We were surprised by how emphatic management was about pushing out Fab 5. Historically, former CEO and co-founder Eli Harari spoke tirelessly about the price elasticity of NAND. Lower prices spurred adoption and opened new markets, and also shifted consumers to using higher capacities (ie a 4GB card instead of a 2GB card). If capacity came on too soon, it would result in a weak period followed by an explosive period. Perhaps we are reading too much into it, and
SanDisk is merely timing the market. It's just somewhat strange thatSanDisk wouldn't be prepared with more internal capacity in front of an "inflection point" for SSDs.

This is something we'll monitor closely. Nonetheless, with shares at current levels, we believe the risk/reward is too compelling not to own.

seekingalpha.com

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To: Mbert who wrote (52346)2/27/2012 9:24:42 AM
From: Charlie Smith
   of 57864
 
9:09 AM Micron ( MU) +5.4% premarket after Japan-based DRAM maker Elpida files for bankruptcy protection. Elpida is expected to continue producing chips, at least for now, but the move should help other DRAM makers, including Micron, Samsung ( SSNLF.PK) and Hynix ( HXSCF.PK). [ Tech, On the Move] Comme

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To: Bargain Hunter who wrote (52338)2/27/2012 11:34:25 AM
From: Sam
   of 57864
 
iNAND PR from Sandisk at MWC

SanDisk iNAND Extreme Embedded Flash Memory Included on Leading Windows 8 Development Platforms
Press Release
: SanDisk Corporation – 8 hours ago
finance.yahoo.com

BARCELONA, Spain--(BUSINESS WIRE)--

SanDisk Corporation (NASDAQ: SNDK - News), a global leader in flash memory storage solutions, today announced it is working with key industry chipset vendors to help ensure a best-in-class user experience for mobile devices based on Microsoft Corp.’s upcoming Windows 8 operating system.

Companies such as Intel Corporation, Qualcomm Incorporated and Texas Instruments Incorporated (TI) are using SanDisk iNAND Extreme™ embedded flash memory with some of their top Windows 8 hardware development platforms. SanDisk is working with these companies to optimize its iNAND Extreme flash memory products with Windows 8-based tablet and mobile designs.

“SanDisk is known for its deep technical expertise and has strong relationships with all major mobile handset and tablet manufacturers, mobile chipset vendors, operating system developers and standardization bodies,” said Dan Inbar, SanDisk senior vice president and general manager, OEM. “Because of the effort we make to continually drive innovation and foster stronger relationships with industry partners, we’re well positioned to extend our status as a leading provider of storage solutions to Windows 8-based systems.”

SanDisk iNAND Extreme is the company’s highest-performance e.MMC (embedded multi-media card) solution with up to 50MB* per second write and 80MB* per second read performance, along with very high speed random performance. SanDisk iNAND Extreme is optimized to improve system responsiveness and multitasking performance, as well as the browsing experience of Windows 8-based devices. iNAND Extreme is currently sampling to customers in 16GB to 64GB** capacities and is expected to be available in the second quarter.

“Qualcomm selected SanDisk’s iNAND Extreme technology for some of its Snapdragon™ S4-based reference design platforms running Windows 8 because Qualcomm wants to offer a best-in-class mobile user experience, including a high quality visual experience and high processing performance,” said Raj Talluri, vice president of product management, Qualcomm.

As smartphones, tablets and other consumer electronics devices become more complex it is increasingly important that all aspects of hardware and software design work together efficiently. Particularly with the introduction of new operating systems and more advanced applications, the need for tight integration between hardware and software is essential. SanDisk works with the entire ecosystem of hardware and software vendors to ensure its flash memory chips are optimized to help improve efficiency and deliver a better user experience.

As a result of this commitment to delivering a better mobile experience, SanDisk is deeply engaged with many other companies in the industry. This teamwork is on display this week at the SanDisk booth partner pavilion at Mobile World Congress located in Hall 8, booth number 8B91.

SanDisk Mobile Memory Leadership Products

As smaller, more powerful mobile devices have proliferated throughout the consumer electronics market, the use of flash memory has expanded from mobile phones and tablets to enable new products and new usage models. The SanDisk iNAND product family includes an embedded storage solution for every performance segment and capacity point in the mobile market including smartphones, tablets and consumer electronics. The SanDisk iNAND family includes iNAND*™, iNAND Ultra™ and iNAND Extreme products and includes SanDisk’s industry leading two and three-bit-per-cell NAND flash memory technology.

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To: Sam who wrote (52348)2/27/2012 11:39:35 AM
From: Sam
   of 57864
 
More PR from MWC. Includes a partial list of current customers.


SanDisk Enhances User Experience on Mobile Devices
Improved Experience is Result of Tight Integration with Industry Partners

Press Release: SanDisk Corporation

finance.yahoo.com

BARCELONA, Spain--(BUSINESS WIRE)--

SanDisk Corporation (NASDAQ: SNDK - News), a global leader in flash memory storage solutions, today highlighted its efforts to enhance the mobile user experience through its close collaboration with key industry partners. Here at the world’s largest mobile industry gathering, SanDisk will be describing its close working relationships with Freescale, Intel Corporation, Marvell Semiconductor, MediaTek Inc., Microsoft Corp., NVIDIA, Qualcomm Incorporated, ST-Ericsson and Texas Instruments Incorporated (TI), among others.

“SanDisk works to ensure its NAND flash memory products are tightly integrated with products from all major chipset vendors and mobile operating system developers to ensure the best possible mobile user experience,” said Yoram Zylberberg, senior director, Embedded Memory Business. “Focusing on tight integration with the mobile community and standards bodies helps produce an optimized mobile solution. As a result, iNAND™ embedded flash memory is included on a majority of leading mobile chipset reference designs and is the reason why we have such great support from our industry partners here at Mobile World Congress.”

More information about SanDisk’s work with partners to enhance full system mobile performance is available at Mobile World Congress Hall 8, booth number 8B91.

SanDisk has developed its embedded product line to meet the diverse needs of end users in the mobile handset, tablet and consumer electronics segments. The company’s iNAND embedded flash memory technology is incorporated into many leading smartphone and consumer electronics products, while its iNAND Ultra™ products are built into devices from the makers of most major smartphones. In addition, high-performance iNAND Extreme™ embedded flash memory technology is currently being tested on all major Windows 8 development platforms – including Windows 8 and Windows Phone (see companion news release also issued today).

“The work SanDisk does to understand actual usage scenarios contributes to a better user experience,” said Mike Rayfield, GM mobile business unit of NVIDIA. “When combined with our processors and chipsets, this knowledge is invaluable to driving innovation in mobile devices.”

“SanDisk’s storage products are tightly integrated with our i.MX processors, enabling optimal performance, product longevity and low power consumption,” said Rajeev Kumar, i.MX Product Line Manager with Freescale’s Multimedia Applications Division. “As computing, mobile and consumer electronics continue to converge, SanDisk’s optimized solutions help deliver a scalable platform that meets the current and future needs of many OEM customers."

SanDisk’s work to deliver best-in-class performance for end users in the mobile segment also extends to its removable microSD™ card products, SSDs used in mobile and enterprise computing and other products sold through its OEM and retail sales channels.

“As we witness the explosion of bandwidth available to mobile devices, and the greater role played by the cloud in delivering an increasing amount of data to these devices, reliable flash memory is becoming an even more fundamental parameter to any mobile platform experience,” said Fred Cohen, director, OMAP™ platform ecosystem, TI. “However, SanDisk does more than deliver the fundamentals. It complements our OMAP platform’s smart multicore architecture with NAND flash memory that enhances low-latency performance in multimedia scenarios, a critical feature to mobile device applications.”

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From: Sam2/28/2012 12:07:55 AM
3 Recommendations   of 57864
 
Longish review and benchmarking of one of Sandisk's new drives, from storagereview.com. Very positive review.

The link for the entire review is here:
storagereview.com

The conclusion is here:

Conclusion

The SanDisk Extreme SSD is surprising in a many ways. Just when we thought we had seen the top of what the SF-2281 SSDs are capable of, SanDisk unleashes the Extreme SSD with a unique NAND configuration and firmware that delivered impressive numbers. The results in several areas are astounding, with 4K random write speeds topping 88,324 IOPS and the Extreme posted the top scores in our HTPC and Gaming real world benchmarks, if only by a hair. What really knocked our socks off though are the 4K QD1 random reads of 8,144 IOPS, beating the Intel SSD 520 by 7% and the OCZ Vertex 3 MAX IOPS by 28%. This is largely thanks to SanDisk's own MLC Toggle NAND.

The Extreme SSD also accomplishes another major feat - price. Historically new entrants to the SSD space hold prices high, until enough volume and distribution drives costs down. SanDisk skipped that entire dance, coming to the street with prices that are substantially lower than the Intel SSD 520 and Vertex 3 Max IOPS.

Overall we were very impressed by the performance of the SanDisk Extreme SSD. It didn't offer the fastest performance in every category, but it was able to snag the top spot in plenty of our tests. To come in with that level of performance just as the SandForce market was starting mature is impressive to say the least.

Pros

  • Extremely fast low-queue depth 4K random read speeds
  • Chart topping 4K random write speeds measuring 88,324 IOPS
  • Very competitive pricing
Cons

  • Showed some weakness in our mixed-workload server profiles and StorageMark Productivity trace
Bottom Line

The SanDisk Extreme SSD boasts some of the fastest speeds we have recorded for a client SSD, with exceptionally strong 4K random read and random write speeds. SanDisk delivers a mighty trifecta to consumers with the Extreme SSD - class leading performance, support and pricing.

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From: Mbert2/28/2012 8:49:25 AM
   of 57864
 
SlotMovie?

Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment, Warner Bros. Home Entertainment Group, SanDisk and Western Digital® to Advance Digital Ownership of High Definition Movies

finance.yahoo.com

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From: Sam2/28/2012 8:51:00 AM
   of 57864
 
Yen related article, from Bloomberg. Looks like this is--or at least, might very well be--the slide that actually sticks. Too bad they hedged 60% of their wafers. Maybe they can hedge their hedge?


Yen’s Worst Slump Since 2009 Shows Intervention No Match for BOJ Purchases
By Masaki Kondo and Hiroko Komiya - Feb 27, 2012 8:47 AM E

bloomberg.com

Bank of Japan Governor Masaaki Shirakawa’s inflation goal is succeeding where record intervention failed, as the yen heads for its steepest monthly drop in two years.

The currency reached an almost nine-month low after the BOJ, which has struggled for more than a decade against deflation, said on Feb. 14 it aimed for 1 percent annual gains in consumer prices and would add 10 trillion yen ($124 billion) to the economy. Traders are paying record premiums for options to buy the dollar versus the yen for three, six and 12 months. Bullish bets on Japan’s currency have fallen 70 percent from the end of last month.

Shirakawa needs a weaker yen to help Japan export its way out of a recession made deeper by last year’s earthquake and the worst nuclear crisis in a generation. Energy imports to replace lost capacity have reversed trade surpluses that made the currency a refuge in a slowing global economy. Prospects of higher inflation are driving it down, at least for now.

“The BOJ seems to have shifted their stance quite aggressively,” Mansoor Mohi-uddin, the Singapore-based chief currency strategist at UBS AG, said by telephone on Feb. 24. “It’s definitely a situation where the trend is now reversed.”

UBS cut its year-end yen projection to 85 per dollar from 80, saying the BOJ’s inflation goal will help reinforce expectations that policy will remain easier for longer, a note from the brokerage said on Feb. 22.

Current Account

Japan has posted an annual current-account surplus, the broadest measure of trade, since at least 1985, according to the Ministry of Finance, turning the nation into the world’s largest creditor. It had 251.5 trillion yen in net assets overseas at the end of 2010, the latest data from the ministry show. That’s almost the size of Germany’s annual economic output in dollar terms.

The Trade Ministry said in November that the current account may slide into deficit from the middle of this decade, and Japan posted a record 1.48 trillion-yen trade deficit, a narrower measure, last month.

Through the global financial crisis, the currency gained from more than 120 to the dollar in 2007 to about 80 as Japanese households accumulated 1,471 trillion yen in assets, helping the government finance its deficits. Domestic investors hold more than 90 percent of Japan’s public debt, the world’s largest at about double the size of the economy, allowing the government to borrow for 10 years at less than 1 percent interest.

Five-Day Slide The currency climbed against all 16 most-traded counterparts in 2011 for a second-straight year. Even after the recent decline, the yen is 17 percent stronger than its five- year average. It will be at 77 by the end of March, according to the median estimate of currency analysts surveyed by Bloomberg.

“As long as Japan maintains its current-account surplus, funds will accumulate inside the country and be invested in government bonds via bank deposits,” Yunosuke Ikeda, head of Japan foreign-exchange research at Nomura Securities Co., the nation’s biggest brokerage, said by phone on Feb. 23. “A plunge in the yen is intriguing as a tale, but I am skeptical that it will actually come about.”

The yen slid against the dollar for five-consecutive days through Feb. 22, the longest stretch since April, and is set for a 5.3 percent plunge in February, the biggest monthly drop since December 2009. It reached 81.67 against the dollar today, the weakest level since May, before appreciating 0.7 percent to 80.55 at 8:37 a.m. New York time. The yen slid to 109.93 per euro, the least since October, before strengthening 1.2 percent to 107.84.

Two-Year Yields

Government currency sales totaled 14.3 trillion yen last year, the third-biggest annual sum on record, Ministry of Finance data show. That didn’t stop the yen from rising to 76.03 per dollar this month before the BOJ’s shift, less than 1 percent off its record of 75.35 reached on Oct. 31.

Combined with regular purchases and earlier stimulus measures, the BOJ will acquire 32.7 trillion yen in Japanese government debt this year, compared with the government’s planned issuance of 149.7 trillion yen for the 12 months starting April 1. Yields on Japan’s two-year bonds slid to 0.1 percent on Feb. 16, the lowest since October 2010.

“The shift toward inflation targeting as well as the announcement to buy further JGBs is quite significant,” Frederic Neumann, the Hong Kong-based co-head of Asian economic research at HSBC Holdings Plc., said by phone on Feb. 22. The yen may extend declines this year to 84 per dollar, he said.

Inflation Target

Japan’s consumer prices, excluding fresh food, fell 0.1 percent in December. They’ve declined an average 0.2 percent for the past 10 years, and the rate hasn’t been above 1 percent for more than 12 months since 1993. The central bank forecast in October the so-called core inflation rate will rise 0.1 percent in the year starting April, followed by a 0.5 percent gain the next fiscal year.

Finance Minister Jun Azumi said the BOJ effectively established an inflation target when it set a “goal” of 1 percent inflation on Feb. 14, replacing earlier wording that the central bank had an “ understanding” of where consumer prices should go.

“I can feel their seriousness,” Masashi Murata, a currency strategist in Tokyo at Brown Brothers Harriman & Co., said on Feb. 22 by phone, referring to the inflation goal. Before the change, “markets sensed the BOJ eschewed commitment to consumer prices.”

Negative Bets

Traders are giving in. The risk-reversal rate for three- month options on the dollar against the yen reached 0.53 on Feb. 20, the highest closing level in data compiled by Bloomberg going back to October 2003. It was as low as negative 2.49 in August. The six-month rate was at 0.25 today, while the one-year rate traded at 0.05.

A higher number for the difference in volatility between call and put options indicates there is more demand from bulls than bears.

The difference in the number of wagers by hedge funds and other large speculators on an advance in the yen compared with those on a drop slid to 17,257 on Feb. 21, figures from the Washington-based Commodity Futures Trading Commission showed. It reached 59,657 on Jan. 13, the most since March 2008.

Efforts to spur the Japanese economy with asset purchases pale next to those in the U.S. and Europe. The Federal Reserve (FARBAST)’s total assets have more than doubled since the beginning of the fourth quarter in 2008 as it started so-called quantitative easing by purchasing debt. The European Central Bank (EBBSTOTA) boosted its assets by 75 percent during the period, while the BOJ’s (BJACTOTL) balance sheet increased 25 percent, before the announced purchase plan.

BOJ Divergence

“BOJ policy is diverging from what we see in Europe and the U.S.,” Koji Fukaya, chief currency strategist in Tokyo at Credit Suisse Group AG, said by phone on Feb. 22. “Expectations for further easing are diminishing in Europe, while economic indicators point to decreasing likelihood of additional easing in the U.S.”

A stronger yen hurts the overseas competitiveness of exporters and cuts the value of income earned abroad when repatriated. A previous yen record of 79.75 reached in April 1995 stood until March last year when a magnitude-9.0 earthquake struck Japan’s northeast, stoking speculation companies would bring home assets to pay for rebuilding. The currency jumped to 76.25 on March 17, prompting coordinated intervention by Group of Seven nations the next day.

Record Deficit

Companies listed on the Topix Index had a 69 percent drop in net income in the last reported quarter, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Mazda Motor Corp., the Japanese carmaker most dependent on exports, predicted its biggest annual loss in 11 years. Television maker Panasonic Corp. forecast a record 780 billion yen loss this fiscal year.

Japan posted a record trade deficit in January, official data showed on Feb. 20, with imports of liquefied natural gas surging 74 percent from a year earlier. Energy costs have swollen as nuclear plants were shuttered following meltdowns and radiation leaks at Tokyo Electric Power Co.’s quake and tsunami- damaged Fukushima plant.

“People took it for granted that Japan would always have a trade surplus, but they may be starting to realize that is not the case,” Takatoshi Kato, a former top currency official for Japan, said in an interview on Feb. 23.

The economy has contracted in three of the past four quarters, and a November report from the Trade Ministry said the current account may slide into deficit from the middle of this decade,

A shrinking current-account surplus is leading to a “reevaluation of the fundamentals in Japan,” Greg Gibbs, a foreign-exchange strategist at Royal Bank of Scotland Group Plc in Sydney, said by phone by Feb. 23. “The fiscal situation has deteriorated, and there’s certainly concern about a hollowing out of the Japanese economy.”

To contact the reporters on this story: Masaki Kondo in Singapore at mkondo3@bloomberg.net; Hiroko Komiya in ?? at hkomiya1@bloomberg.net



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From: Bargain Hunter2/28/2012 10:10:32 AM
   of 57864
 
Intel, Micron Update NAND Flash Memory Joint Venture

investors.micron.com

Despite the headline it sounds as though Intel is selling its entire stake to Micron and contracting for future output.

Could this benefit SanDisk by leading to MU paying royalties to SanDisk now that the Intel shield is going away?

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