Western Digital Corporation (NASDAQ: WDC) slipped to a loss in the fourth quarter of 2019 from a profit last year, due to lower revenues. The bottom line came in line with the analysts’ expectations while the top line missed consensus estimates.
Net loss was $197 million or $0.67 per share compared to a profit of $756 million or $2.46 per share in the previous year quarter. Adjusted earnings plunged by 95% to $0.17 per share.
Revenue dropped by 29% to $3.63 billion. The company witnessed a challenging quarter due to weak flash demand.
Looking ahead into the first quarter of 2020, the company expects revenue in the range of $3.8 billion to $4 billion and adjusted earnings in the range of $0.15 to $0.35 per share. Gross margin is predicted to be about 15% to 16% and operating expenses are anticipated to be $870 million to $890 million.
The company said it is seeing signs of improving conditions in the flash market and believes that the flash market has reached a cyclical trough. With continuing expectations for a positive demand environment, a robust product portfolio and expanding customer engagements, Western Digital expects to deliver improving financial results as it moves through fiscal 2020.
For the fourth quarter, the total exabytes in the hard disk drives increased by 14% sequentially and average unit capacity rose by 14%. Capacity enterprise exabyte shipments are expected to meaningfully exceed 30% year-over-year growth in calendar 2019.
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In the Flash, bit shipments declined by 1% sequentially. On an annual basis, average unit capacity increased by 35% in retail flash and 78% in non-retail client solid state drives. Industry bit supply are expected to grow annually in the low 20% range in calendar 2019.
Western Digital’s peer Seagate Technology (NASDAQ: STX) will report its Q4 results on Friday before the bell, whereby earnings are anticipated to plunge by 48.10% to $0.84 per share and revenue is likely to drop by 17.90% to $2.33 billion. Last week, Intel (NASDAQ: INTC) reported better-than-expected earnings and revenue for the second quarter.
Shares of Western Digital ended Wednesday’s regular session down 4.77% at $53.89 on the Nasdaq. Following the earnings release, the stock rose over 2% in the after-market session.
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