Western Digital Corp. First Quarter Earnings Sneak Peek

S&P 500 (NYSE:SPY) component Western Digital Corp. (NYSE:WDC) will unveil its latest earnings on Wednesday, October 19, 2011. Western Digital designs, develops, manufactures, and sells hard drives.

Western Digital Corp. Earnings Preview Cheat Sheet

Wall St. Earnings Expectations: The average estimate of analysts is for profit of 96 cents per share, a rise of 14.3% from the company’s actual earnings for the same quarter a year ago. During the past three months, the average estimate has moved up from 88 cents. Between one and three months ago, the average estimate moved up. It has been unchanged at 96 cents during the last month. For the year, analysts are projecting net income of $3.87 per share, a rise of 23.6% from last year.

Past Earnings Performance: The company met estimates last quarter after beating the forecasts in the prior two. In the fourth quarter of the last fiscal year, the company reported profit of 67 cents per share versus a mean estimate of net income of 67 cents per share. In the third quarter of the last fiscal year, the company beat estimates by one cent.

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Wall St. Revenue Expectations: On average, analysts predict $2.48 billion in revenue this quarter, a rise of 3.3% from the year ago quarter. Analysts are forecasting total revenue of $9.95 billion for the year, a rise of 4.4% from last year’s revenue of $9.53 billion.

Analyst Ratings: 11 out of 18 analysts surveyed (61.1%) have a buy rating on Western Digital.. This is below the mean analyst rating of 10 competitors, which average 66.7% buy ratings.

A Look Back: In the fourth quarter of the last fiscal year, profit fell 40.2% to $158 million (67 cents a share) from $264 million ($1.11 a share) the year earlier, meeting analyst expectations. Revenue rose 0.9% to $2.4 billion from $2.38 billion.

Key Stats:

A year-over-year revenue increase in the fourth quarter of the last fiscal year snapped a streak of two consecutive quarters of revenue declines. Revenue fell 14.7% in the third quarter of the last fiscal year and 5.5% in the second quarter of the last fiscal year.

While the company has been profitable for the last eight quarters, income has fallen year over year by an average of 45.7% over the past four quarters. The quarter hit the hardest was the third quarter of the last fiscal year, that saw a 63.5% drop.

Competitors to Watch: Seagate Technology PLC (NASDAQ:STX), EMC Corporation (NYSE:EMC), STEC, Inc. (NASDAQ:STEC), SanDisk Corporation (NASDAQ:SNDK), Dot Hill Systems Corp. (NASDAQ:HILL), Overland Storage, Inc. (NASDAQ:OVRL), Hutchinson Technology Inc. (NASDAQ:HTCH), Quantum Corporation (NYSE:QTM), ADPT Corporation (ADPT), and OCZ Technology Group Inc. (NASDAQ:OCZ).

Stock Price Performance: During July 20, 2011 to October 13, 2011, the stock price had fallen $9.42 (-24.7%) from $38.08 to $28.66. The stock price saw one of its best stretches over the last year between June 27, 2011 and July 8, 2011 when shares rose for nine-straight days, rising 10.4% (+$3.62) over that span. It saw one of its worst periods between May 31, 2011 and June 9, 2011 when shares fell for eight-straight days, falling 8.1% (-$2.96) over that span. Shares are down $5.24 (-15.5%) year to date.

(Source: Xignite Financials)

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