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

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From: Sam9/2/2021 9:28:00 PM
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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
1 Recommendation   of 4736
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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From: BeenRetired11/13/2021 10:22:39 AM
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To: BeenRetired who wrote (4705)11/19/2021 12:49:35 PM
From: SiliconAlley
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I totally agree.

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From: BeenRetired11/21/2021 8:48:56 AM
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Dumbfounded how quickly moving to $500.

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From: Sam11/23/2021 9:59:28 AM
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Japan to allocate $5.2 bln to fund chip plants by TSMC, others - Nikkei
Reuters November 23, 2021 08:11:00 AM ET

Nov 23 (Reuters) - Japan will allocate about 600 billion yen ($5.2 billion) from its fiscal 2021 supplementary budget to support advanced semiconductor manufacturers including the world's No. 1 contract chipmaker, Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (TSMC), Nikkei reported on Tuesday.

As part of the stimulus package, the Japanese government will invest about 400 billion yen in a new factory to be set up by TSMC in Kumamoto prefecture, southwest Japan, according to Nikkei .

TSMC said earlier this month it would build a $7 billion chip plant in Japan with Sony Group Corp, a move that was welcomed by the Japanese government.

The remaining 200 billion yen will go toward setting up other factories with several projects under consideration, including by U.S. memory chipmaker Micron Technology Inc and Japan'sKioxia Holdings, the report said.

Japan's chip-making sector, the world's biggest in the 1980s, has struggled to maintain its competitive edge, going into a steady decline in the past three decades, while rivals such as Taiwanese manufacturers gained ground.

TSMC, Micron and Kioxia did not immediately respond to Reuters' requests for comment.

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