Goldman Sachs Group Lowers Western Digital (NASDAQ:WDC) to Hold

Western Digital (NASDAQ:WDC) was downgraded by research analysts at Goldman Sachs Group to a “hold” rating in a report issued on Wednesday, September 12th. They currently have a $63.00 price target on the data storage provider’s stock. Goldman Sachs Group’s target price points to a potential upside of 12.20% from the stock’s previous close.

Other research analysts have also issued reports about the company. TheStreet upgraded Western Digital from a “c+” rating to a “b” rating in a report on Thursday, July 26th. Bank of America cut their price target on Western Digital from $120.00 to $110.00 and set a “buy” rating for the company in a report on Friday, July 27th. Stifel Nicolaus lowered their price objective on Western Digital from $114.00 to $93.00 and set a “buy” rating on the stock in a research report on Friday, July 27th. Maxim Group restated a “buy” rating and set a $126.00 price objective on shares of Western Digital in a research report on Friday, July 27th. Finally, Mizuho restated a “buy” rating on shares of Western Digital in a research report on Wednesday, May 16th. Two research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, twelve have issued a hold rating and seventeen have issued a buy rating to the company. The stock has an average rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $100.83.

NASDAQ:WDC traded down $0.46 on Wednesday, hitting $56.15. 3,959,460 shares of the company’s stock traded hands, compared to its average volume of 4,134,831. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.95, a current ratio of 2.39 and a quick ratio of 1.73. Western Digital has a 1 year low of $53.61 and a 1 year high of $106.96. The stock has a market cap of $17.06 billion, a PE ratio of 4.16, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 0.29 and a beta of 0.90.

Western Digital (NASDAQ:WDC) last released its earnings results on Thursday, July 26th. The data storage provider reported $3.61 earnings per share for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $3.20 by $0.41. The company had revenue of $5.12 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $5.07 billion. Western Digital had a return on equity of 36.35% and a net margin of 3.27%. The business’s revenue for the quarter was up 5.7% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter in the previous year, the business posted $2.93 EPS. On average, equities research analysts anticipate that Western Digital will post 10.71 earnings per share for the current year.

Western Digital announced that its Board of Directors has initiated a stock repurchase program on Thursday, July 26th that allows the company to repurchase $5.00 billion in shares. This repurchase authorization allows the data storage provider to purchase up to 22.3% of its stock through open market purchases. Stock repurchase programs are typically a sign that the company’s board of directors believes its shares are undervalued.

In related news, CFO Mark P. Long sold 2,233 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Friday, August 3rd. The stock was sold at an average price of $68.74, for a total transaction of $153,496.42. Following the completion of the transaction, the chief financial officer now directly owns 191,154 shares in the company, valued at $13,139,925.96. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which can be accessed through this link. Also, insider Mark P. Long sold 24,938 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Monday, July 30th. The stock was sold at an average price of $70.83, for a total value of $1,766,358.54. Following the transaction, the insider now owns 215,963 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $15,296,659.29. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold 32,772 shares of company stock valued at $2,298,763 over the last 90 days. Corporate insiders own 0.31% of the company’s stock.

Several large investors have recently bought and sold shares of the stock. Sound Income Strategies LLC grew its stake in Western Digital by 48.7% in the third quarter. Sound Income Strategies LLC now owns 15,366 shares of the data storage provider’s stock valued at $900,000 after purchasing an additional 5,030 shares in the last quarter. Royal London Asset Management Ltd. bought a new position in Western Digital in the second quarter valued at approximately $14,360,000. FMR LLC grew its stake in Western Digital by 0.8% in the second quarter. FMR LLC now owns 1,093,275 shares of the data storage provider’s stock valued at $84,630,000 after purchasing an additional 8,946 shares in the last quarter. Exane Asset Management bought a new position in Western Digital in the second quarter valued at approximately $222,000. Finally, HRT Financial LLC bought a new position in Western Digital in the second quarter valued at approximately $426,000. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 83.12% of the company’s stock.

Western Digital Company Profile

Western Digital Corporation develops, manufactures, and sells data storage devices and solutions worldwide. It offers client devices, including hard disk drives (HDDs) and solid state drives (SSDs) for computing devices, such as desktop and notebook PCs, security surveillance systems, gaming consoles, and set top boxes; flash-based embedded storage products for mobile phones, tablets, notebook PCs, and other portable and wearable devices, as well as automotive, IoT, industrial, and connected home applications; flash-based memory wafers; and embedded storage solutions and iNAND embedded flash products, such as multi-chip package solutions.

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Analyst Recommendations for Western Digital (NASDAQ:WDC)

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