Cowen Downgrades Western Digital (WDC) to Market Perform

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Cowen lowered shares of Western Digital (NASDAQ:WDC) from an outperform rating to a market perform rating in a research note released on Wednesday morning, Marketbeat reports. They currently have $70.00 price target on the data storage provider’s stock.

Other equities research analysts also recently issued research reports about the stock. TheStreet raised shares of Western Digital from a c+ rating to a b rating in a report on Thursday, July 26th. Mizuho reaffirmed a buy rating on shares of Western Digital in a report on Wednesday, May 16th. Stifel Nicolaus reaffirmed a buy rating on shares of Western Digital in a report on Tuesday, May 15th. Guggenheim set a $125.00 price objective on shares of Western Digital and gave the stock a buy rating in a report on Friday, April 27th. Finally, Maxim Group reaffirmed a buy rating and issued a $150.00 price objective on shares of Western Digital in a report on Friday, April 27th. Two investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, twelve have given a hold rating and nineteen have issued a buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock has an average rating of Buy and an average price target of $103.36.

Shares of WDC opened at $64.63 on Wednesday. Western Digital has a 1 year low of $61.54 and a 1 year high of $106.96. The firm has a market cap of $19.39 billion, a PE ratio of 4.78, a PEG ratio of 0.32 and a beta of 0.96. 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 (NASDAQ:WDC) last posted its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, July 26th. The data storage provider reported $3.61 earnings per share for the quarter, topping the consensus estimate of $3.20 by $0.41. The business had revenue of $5.12 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $5.07 billion. Western Digital had a net margin of 3.27% and a return on equity of 36.35%. The company’s quarterly revenue was up 5.7% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter in the prior year, the company posted $2.93 earnings per share. 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 authorized a share buyback plan on Thursday, July 26th that allows the company to repurchase $5.00 billion in shares. This repurchase authorization allows the data storage provider to repurchase up to 22.3% of its shares through open market purchases. Shares repurchase plans are generally a sign that the company’s management believes its shares are undervalued.

The firm also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Monday, October 15th. Shareholders of record on Friday, September 28th will be issued a $0.50 dividend. This represents a $2.00 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 3.09%. The ex-dividend date is Thursday, September 27th. Western Digital’s payout ratio is 14.80%.

In other Western Digital news, insider Mark P. Long sold 24,938 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Monday, July 30th. The shares were sold at an average price of $70.83, for a total value of $1,766,358.54. Following the completion of the sale, the insider now directly owns 215,963 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $15,296,659.29. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through this hyperlink. Also, Director Henry T. Denero sold 6,492 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, June 5th. The shares were sold at an average price of $85.65, for a total transaction of $556,039.80. Following the completion of the sale, the director now directly owns 20,132 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $1,724,305.80. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold a total of 108,164 shares of company stock valued at $8,809,806 over the last three months. 0.31% of the stock is owned by corporate insiders.

Hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently bought and sold shares of the business. Ruggie Capital Group acquired a new stake in Western Digital during the 2nd quarter worth about $100,000. Migdal Insurance & Financial Holdings Ltd. raised its holdings in Western Digital by 16,520.0% during the 2nd quarter. Migdal Insurance & Financial Holdings Ltd. now owns 1,662 shares of the data storage provider’s stock worth $129,000 after buying an additional 1,652 shares during the period. NuWave Investment Management LLC raised its holdings in Western Digital by 10,140.0% during the 1st quarter. NuWave Investment Management LLC now owns 1,536 shares of the data storage provider’s stock worth $140,000 after buying an additional 1,521 shares during the period. Financial Gravity Wealth Inc. acquired a new stake in Western Digital during the 1st quarter worth about $145,000. Finally, Assetmark Inc. raised its holdings in Western Digital by 437.9% during the 1st quarter. Assetmark Inc. now owns 1,673 shares of the data storage provider’s stock worth $154,000 after buying an additional 1,362 shares during the period. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 84.36% of the company’s stock.

Western Digital Company Profile

Western Digital Corporation, together with its subsidiaries, develops, manufactures, and sells data storage devices and solutions worldwide. It offers performance hard disk drives (HDDs) that are used in enterprise servers, data analysis, and other enterprise applications; capacity HDDs and drive configurations for use in data storage systems and tiered storage models; and enterprise solid state drives (SSDs), including NAND-flash SSDs and software solutions that are designed to enhance the performance in various enterprise workload environments.

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