Looks very good. My 1st gen G-Skill SSD flaked out on me recently and I haven't figured out how to get it working. They don't even appear to be the SSD business any more, so I will go with a bigger company like SanDisk for the next one. The SSD Toolkit Intel has is something that I hope other companies come out with too.
Even with the hedge, a weaker Yen is constructive for SNDK (the perception of higher margin potential will trump the reality of the 60% hedge). That said, I'm not convinced by this rally in the USD vs the Yen.
I continue to believe that the US is headed for a recession within 4-6 months. And when that happens, the USD will work its way lower (again).
I think we have a long way to go yet in the race to debase world currencies.
Needham notes, like a groundhog with meteorological talents, STEC has been slumbering over the past 12-18 months as its next generation ASIC-based SSDs were under development and in qualifications with customers. By the end of 2Q, STEC expects to emerge with qualifications in hand. Given the significant uncertainty in the model, firm would stay on the sidelines until qualifications and ramps begin in earnest. However, firm maintains its Hold rating as recent acquisition valuations in the space at 3-10x sales (with far less IP and engineering staff) likely provide a floor to the stock.
The Benchmark Co notes STEC's IP and enterprise-class SSD capabilities are most likely worth more than the co's current enterprise value ($248 mln), which has been validated by recent M&A activity (e.g. SandForce, Anobit, ioTurbine, Pliant, etc). However, investors will likely continue to snub the STEC story at least until the company can re-claim lost market share with new products at important customers such as EMC. Best case, this could take a few more quarters to play out.
STEC was ticking lower in after hours, last at $9.20.
Apple itself has already officially announced that SanDisk is its supplier, but up till now we knew from device dismantling websites that this was only for iPods. On a clear slide at the analysts day, Dan Inbar, who is senior vice president and general manager of OEM, as well as SanDisk's Israel country manager, showed an iPhone and an iPad with the caption "How SanDisk is Winning", and it is not usual to present a slide like that unless you are really in there.
The undisclosed agreement that apparently exists between Apple and SanDisk was at the center of the drama of the arrests on charges of insider trading in New York last week. A former SanDisk employee admitted giving inside information to do with SanDisk and Apple to a consultant to hedge funds, who warned the funds at that time not to sell SanDisk short, when SanDisk has been a favorite of the short players for many years. (from S. Cohen)
Terms of the deal call for Intel to sell its stake in two wafer factories – one in Singapore, the other in Virginia – for about $600 million. Intel will get half of the proceeds in cash, with the rest “deposited with Micron,” with the funds eventually to be refunded or applied to Intel purchases of NAND flash memory chips.
Intel said the deal also extends the companies’ NAND flash joint development program and expands it to include emerging memory technologies.
Intel said the revised deal gives it “better flexibility to meet growing demand for SSDs and other products.”
The Intel/Micron joint venture manufacturing facility in Lehi, Utah “will continue to operates with minimal changes” to current operation.
The deal is expected to close in the first half.
Stifel Nicolaus analyst Kevin Cassidy is bullish on the deal for Micron. “In our view this transaction is positive for Micron, as the company is increasing its trade NAND manufacturing capacity, which should lead to higher gross margin,” he writes. “In addition, the expanded development JV increases confidence that Micron will be positioned with future memory options beyond the 3D Vertical NAND technology currently in development with Intel.” Cassidy maintains a Buy rating on the stock, while boosting his target price to $10.50, from $9.
Intel shares are up 36 cents, or 1.3%, to $27.25; Micron is up 48 cents, or 5.6%, to $9.04.