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   Technology StocksWDC, NAND, NVM, enterprise storage systems, etc.

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From: franklin18/24/2021 5:45:38 PM
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Seagate, Western Digital stocks slump after recent crypto rally

Aug. 24, 2021 11:29 AM ET Western Digital Corporation (WDC) Seagate Technology Holdings plc (STX) By: Brandy Betz, SA News Editor 13 Comments

Sundry Photography/iStock Editorial via Getty Images

Storage companies Seagate Technology ( STX -6.1%) and Western Digital ( WDC -3.0%) were among the S&P 500's largest decliners, Tuesday, as a temporary sector tailwind fades and challenges appear on the horizon.Demand for high-capacity storage drives soared earlier this year due to the Chia cryptocurrency, which uses unused storage for farming. The energy-efficient altcoin debuted in late May at a price of over $1,300 per token. The debut happened just ahead of the broader digital currency selloff, and Chia is currently trading at $259.66.Seagate (NASDAQ: STX) and Western Digital (NASDAQ: WDC) are also facing widespread global component shortages and rising COVID-19 cases, which could complicate the economic reopening and slow the return of enterprise spending.Earlier this month, Western Digital reported fiscal fourth-quarter earnings and sales results that beat analysts' estimates. On the earnings call, the company said it saw a $100 million benefit from Chia-related demand during the quarter. Last week, UBS upgraded Seagate to buy on growth prospects in the data center space. UBS lowered its price target on Western Digital, but kept its neutral rating on the company in place due to cyclical and structural concerns surrounding NAND memory.

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From: Elroy8/25/2021 2:10:40 PM
   of 4755
Anybody know what's up with WDC today? It just jumped a few bucks mid-day

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To: Elroy who wrote (4688)8/25/2021 2:15:26 PM
From: Sam
1 Recommendation   of 4755
Western Digital in Advanced Talks to Merge With Kioxia in $20 Billion-Plus Deal, Sources Say

Symbol Last Price Change
69.9 +9.14 (+15.0428%)
76.8774 +4.8974 (+6.8038%)
QUOTES AS OF 02:14:37 PM ET 08/25/2021

Dow Jones Newswires August 25, 2021 02:21:00 PM ET

Western Digital Corp. is in advanced talks to merge with Japan'sKioxia Holdings Corp., according to people familiar with the matter, in a deal that could be valued at more than $20 billion and further reorder the global chip industry.

Long-running discussions between the companies have heated up in the past few weeks and they could reach agreement on a deal as early as mid-September, the people said. Western Digital would pay for the deal with stock and the combined company would likely be run by its Chief Executive, David Goeckeler, the people said.

There's no guarantee Western Digital, which had a market value of around $19 billion Wednesday afternoon, will seal an agreement, and Kioxia could still opt for an initial public offering it had been planning or another combination.

The Wall Street Journal reported in March that Western Digital and Micron Technology Inc. were examining potential deals with Kioxia, which makes NAND flash-memory chips used in smartphones, computer servers and other devices. Micron's interest has since cooled and Kioxia has been focused on discussions with Western Digital, which already has deep existing ties with the Japanese company.

Any transaction would require the blessing of the Japanese government, given Kioxia's significance there and the political sensitivities of transferring ownership of such key technology. Washington would also likely play a role, but a deal could fit with a push by the U.S. to boost its chipmaking capabilities and increase competitiveness with China.

Perhaps the biggest regulatory hurdle would be China, which has been increasingly aggressive in its antitrust enforcement, helping scuttle potential deals including Qualcomm Inc.'s proposed $44 billion purchase of Dutch chip maker NXP Semiconductors NV in 2018.

There has been a burst of acquisition activity among chip makers, with the industry accounting for several of the biggest deals of the past few years. Those include Advanced Micro Devices Inc.'s roughly $35 billion purchase of Xilinx Inc., Nvidia Corp.'s roughly $40 billion buyout of SoftBank Group Corp.-backed Arm Holdings and Analog Devices Inc.'s $ 20 billion acquisition of Maxim Integrated Products Inc.

In a sign of how difficult it can be to get such deals across the finish line, Nvidia last week said getting approval for its proposed purchase of Arm has progressed only slowly. U.K. regulators are assessing whether to give their blessing to a deal that also still needs approval from other governments. China only just recently approved Analog's purchase of Maxim, more than a year after the deal was first struck.

Intel Corp. meanwhile, has made clear it is interested in acquisitions and has explored purchasing GlobalFoundries Inc. The chip-production firm, owned by an investment arm of the Abu Dhabi government, is planning an IPO and has so far been unreceptive, however.

(Intel last year agreed to sell most of its memory-chip business to South Korea's SK Hynix Inc.)

Demand for memory chips has been hot, lifted by new smartphone launches, 5G expansion and demand for PCs and servers. Samsung Electronics Co., the world's largest memory-chip maker, last month said roaring demand helped offset weakness in smartphone shipments. In a reflection of the demand, flash-memory prices have shot up in recent months.

That has helped Kioxia's valuation since it backed away from a planned IPO last fall, citing the coronavirus pandemic and market volatility. It was expecting a valuation then of around $16 billion.

Western Digital, which makes hard disk drives, solid-state drives and NAND chips, has a joint venture with Kioxia for manufacturing and research and development that was set to expire starting in 2027. That agreement appears to have given Western Digital a leg up on Micron, which has a market value of $83 billion and could have more easily pulled off a full takeover.

Their existing ties could help make a WD-Kioxia combination more palatable to regulators.

Western Digital shares rallied on the news that it was exploring a deal with Kioxia, which may indicate shareholders are supportive despite what a large bite it would be.

Kioxia, formerly part of Toshiba Corp. and known as Toshiba Memory, was purchased in 2018 by a group led by private-equity firm Bain Capital that included Apple Inc., Dell Technologies Inc., Kingston Technology Co. and Seagate Technology PLC, for around $18 billion. Toshiba retained a 40% stake in the business, which was renamed Kioxia the following year.

Write to Cara Lombardo at and Dana Cimilluca at

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To: Elroy who wrote (4688)8/25/2021 2:26:44 PM
From: SiliconAlley
2 Recommendations   of 4755
Anybody know what's up with WDC today? It just jumped a few bucks mid-day

I heard they expanded their in-house controller production.

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From: Sam9/2/2021 9:28:00 PM
   of 4755
Kioxia favours IPO over Western Digital merger offer-paper
Reuters September 02, 2021 08:38:00 PM ET

TOKYO, Sept 3 (Reuters) - Japan'sKioxia Holdings Corp, the world's second-largest maker of NAND flash memory chips, plans to push ahead with an initial public offering (IPO) rather than a stock merger with Western Digital, the Nikkan Kogyo newspaper reported on Friday.

Kioxia is planning to offer its shares in November after a general election in Japan because it believes stock markets will rise after that national poll, the Nikkan Kogyo reported, without citing any sources.

Asked about the report, a spokesperson for Kioxia reiterated previous comments by the company it was considering the appropriate timing for an IPO that it shelved in 2020 amid U.S.-China trade tensions.

Kioxia was acquired for $18 billion from Toshiba Corp in 2018 by a consortium led by Bain Capital, which declined to comment on Friday. Toshiba retains a 40% stake in the chipmaker.

"We are not involved in Kioxia's management and so not in a position to comment," a Toshiba spokesman said. "We continue to consider the most appropriate approach to our investment in Kioxia in order to maximizing shareholder value.

Reuters reported last month that Kioxia was in advanced talks with Western Digital about a possible $20 billion stock merger with an agreement possible as early as this month, citing a source.

That combination would create a big new company in a consolidating industry. Kioxia earlier declined to comment on that possibility.

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From: Bruno Cipolla9/14/2021 1:20:40 PM
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From: Sam9/17/2021 5:17:03 PM
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WDC might benefit from Apple's latest iPhone.

The iPhone 13 Didn't Surprise Anyone. Apple's Stock Still Might. --
Dow Jones Newswires September 17, 2021 01:06:00 PM ET

On the surface, last week's edition of Apple's annual fall product launch event was kind of a yawner. There weren't many surprises, the new iPhone 13 lineup was in line with expectations, and upgrades to iPads and the Apple Watch were less than revolutionary.

But dig in a little, and you can find lots to chew on. The biggest takeaway is that Apple's (ticker: AAPL) outlook is a little brighter than skeptics on the Street would have you believe.

No question, iPhone updates were incremental, mostly under-the-hood tweaks. The notch at the top of the screen is smaller, and the new A15 bionic processor at the core of the phone is faster than the iPhone 12's A14 chip. There's longer battery life, improved cameras, and higher memory capacity at comparable price points.

A few analysts view the new option for one terabyte of flash memory storage on iPhone 13 Pro models as a big deal. While it's not entirely clear to me who needs that much capacity, the trend towards higher average storage on phones is a good thing not only for Apple, but also for memory chip manufacturers Western Digital (WDC) and Micron Technology (MU). The base model phones now have twice the storage capacity as last year. The $799 iPhone 12 had 64 gigabytes of storage; this year, the same price comes with 128 GB. Last year, a phone with 256 GB would run $949; this year, you can have the same capacity for $899. If you want a top-of-the-line, 6.7-inch Pro Max with one terabyte of storage, it will set you back $1,599.

Bernstein analyst Toni Sacconaghi sees Apple's pricing strategy as designed to continue a trend toward increasing iPhones' average selling prices, or ASPs. He estimates that Apple is on track for an 18% year-over-year increase in ASPs for the September 2021 fiscal year. He reports that the iPhone ASP earlier this year reached more than $880, the highest since the phone was launched in 2008.

Driving the trend is an apparent consumer preference -- at least among iPhone 12 fanciers -- for higher-end Pro and Pro Max models, which he argues carry margins 10 percentage points higher than non-Pro models. (Apple apparently generates huge margins on incremental memory.) Sacconaghi calculates that, if the iPhone sales mix on the new lineup is comparable to the iPhone 12's, average selling prices would be up 5%.

Morgan Stanley's Katy Huberty is focused on both the profitability of the new phones -- and affordability. She agrees that the big news might be Apple's move to lift iPhone profits by driving up average prices, but notes that aggressive carrier promotions and trade-in deals increase affordability and should keep demand buoyant. Huberty notes that AT&T (T) and Verizon (VZ) are offering more aggressive promotions for the iPhone 13 than they did for the 12, no doubt reflecting their need to flow traffic to 5G networks after spending billions to buy spectrum and build out faster infrastructures.

Jefferies analyst Kyle McNealy goes so far as to suggest that carrier promotions were the biggest news last week. AT&T, Verizon, and T-Mobile US (TMUS) are all offering the base iPhone 13 model free to qualifying customers. AT&T will give you a Pro for free. Trade in an iPhone 12 Pro Max at T-Mobile, and you can have a free iPhone 13 Pro Max. Apple wants to expand its user base, boost customer loyalty, and drive services growth. The carriers want to spur 5G. Consumers get better phones. It's a win-win-win.

Huberty notes that only about 5% of the iPhone installed base is using 5G; she expects an "elongated" 5G adoption cycle that should keep demand for new phones high. "Should early reports indicate elevated iPhone demand versus low buy- side expectations, we'd expect Apple shares to outperform in the near-term," she writes in a research note.

One of the trickiest elements of the story for investors will be an inevitable slowing of Apple's growth rate. Street estimates call for sales growth to tumble from 34% in fiscal 2021, to under 4% in fiscal 2022. But if iPhone demand holds up, aided by support from 5G carriers, sales gains could be higher. Loup Ventures co-founder Gene Munster, who followed Apple as an analyst, told me last week that he thinks growth will be closer to 10%. Keep in mind that in fiscal 2019 -- prepandemic (and pre-5G) -- Apple sales fell 2% from the prior year, with iPhone sales down 5%. Munster sees a path for the stock to get to $200 a share, a third higher than today.

A quick update: As previewed here last week, Cisco Systems (CSCO) on Wednesday held its first analyst meeting in four years, to a muted reaction. Cisco sees both revenue and profit growth ranging from 5% to 7% a year through the July 2025 fiscal year, driven by 15% to 17% growth in its subscription businesses. Cisco also affirmed its policy to return at least 50% of free cash flow in dividends and buybacks.

But there were minor disappointments. Some investors had hoped for a more aggressive approach to buying back stock -- and they were bummed that Cisco isn't projecting operating leverage, with profits expected to grow in line with revenue. That reflects higher component costs due to shortages and a desire to invest in growth. Cisco CEO Chuck Robbins sees the company's addressable market at $400 billion, with another $500 billion in businesses it doesn't currently address. Don't be surprised to see M&A pick up.

Bottom line: I repeat my view from last week. Cisco is cheap, and there's a path to substantial gains.
(END) Dow Jones Newswires

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From: Bruno Cipolla10/26/2021 5:34:37 AM
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Merger talks between Western Digital and Kioxia stall - sources

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From: Sam10/27/2021 10:27:07 PM
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Will investments in digital transformation enhance Western Digital FQ1 results?

Oct. 27, 2021 1:16 PM ET Western Digital Corporation (WDC) By: Niloofer Shaikh, SA News Editor 4 Comments

  • Western Digital (NASDAQ: WDC) is scheduled to announce Q1 earnings results on Thursday, October 28th, after market close.
  • The consensus EPS Estimate is $2.44 (+275.4% Y/Y) and the consensus Revenue Estimate is $5.06B (+29.7% Y/Y).
  • Last week, the company's merger talk with Japanese chip maker Kioxia Holdings Corp. in a $20B-plus deal have stalled.
  • Mizuho downgraded the stock last week with price target forecast of $62 a share from $92. Mizuho analyst Vijay Rakesh says that there is evidence of weaker demand for DRAM chips that are commonly used in PCs, as well as slower mobile handset sales in China that could impact the rollout of 5G wireless service around the country.
  • The company has topped earnings estimate in the last quarter with revenue growth of 14%.
  • Over the last 2 years, WDC has beaten EPS estimates 88% of the time and has beaten revenue estimates 88% of the time.
  • Over the last 3 months, EPS estimates have seen 22 upward revisions and 2 downward. Revenue estimates have seen 17 upward revisions and 5 downward.
  • Over the period of six months, shares have underperformed the broader market, check in the graph below.

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From: Sam10/28/2021 5:26:30 PM
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WDC getting smacked AH. Down to 51.35-51.40 at the moment after closing at 57.28. They beat earnings and revenue estimates but guidance disappointed.

Western Digital EPS beats by $0.05, beats on revenue; guides Q2 below estimates
Oct. 28, 2021 4:03 PM ET Western Digital Corporation (WDC) By: Jignesh Mehta, SA News Editor
  • Western Digital (NASDAQ: WDC): Q1 Non-GAAP EPS of $2.49 beats by $0.05; GAAP EPS of $1.93 misses by $0.10.
  • Revenue of $5.1B (+30.8% Y/Y) beats by $40M.
  • Press Release
  • Generated operating cash flow of $521M and free cash flow of $224M.
  • For FQ2, Western Digital forecasts revenue of $4.7-4.9B (consensus: $5.24B), $1.95-2.25 EPS (consensus: $2.63).

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