Western Digital (WDC) Given “Buy” Rating at Benchmark
Benchmark reiterated their buy rating on shares of Western Digital (NASDAQ:WDC) in a report issued on Wednesday morning. Benchmark currently has a $130.00 price target on the data storage provider’s stock.
WDC has been the topic of a number of other research reports. Citigroup reaffirmed a buy rating and set a $115.00 target price on shares of Western Digital in a research report on Wednesday. Cowen reaffirmed a buy rating on shares of Western Digital in a research report on Wednesday. Jefferies Group reaffirmed a hold rating and set a $90.00 target price on shares of Western Digital in a research report on Friday, August 18th. BidaskClub raised shares of Western Digital from a sell rating to a hold rating in a research report on Wednesday. Finally, UBS dropped their target price on shares of Western Digital to $88.00 and set a neutral rating on the stock in a research report on Wednesday. Nine investment analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating, twenty-four have assigned a buy rating and three have given a strong buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock presently has a consensus rating of Buy and an average price target of $113.10.
Western Digital (NASDAQ:WDC) traded up $1.86 during trading hours on Wednesday, hitting $83.63. 6,420,700 shares of the stock were exchanged, compared to its average volume of 4,160,861. Western Digital has a 12 month low of $66.74 and a 12 month high of $95.77. The company has a market capitalization of $24,186.47, a price-to-earnings ratio of 8.21 and a beta of 1.10. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.07, a quick ratio of 2.13 and a current ratio of 2.64.
Western Digital (NASDAQ:WDC) last released its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, October 26th. The data storage provider reported $3.56 EPS for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $3.01 by $0.55. Western Digital had a net margin of 7.38% and a return on equity of 26.48%. The company had revenue of $5.18 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $5.13 billion. During the same quarter last year, the firm posted $1.18 earnings per share. The company’s quarterly revenue was up 9.9% compared to the same quarter last year. research analysts expect that Western Digital will post 12.01 EPS for the current fiscal year.
Western Digital announced that its Board of Directors has approved a stock buyback plan on Thursday, November 9th that permits the company to repurchase $2.10 billion in outstanding shares. This repurchase authorization permits the data storage provider to buy shares of its stock through open market purchases. Stock repurchase plans are generally a sign that the company’s board believes its shares are undervalued.
The company also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Tuesday, January 16th. Stockholders of record on Friday, December 29th will be paid a $0.50 dividend. The ex-dividend date is Thursday, December 28th. This represents a $2.00 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 2.39%. Western Digital’s dividend payout ratio is presently 41.75%.
In related news, Director Henry T. Denero sold 4,097 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Monday, October 30th. The shares were sold at an average price of $85.97, for a total transaction of $352,219.09. Following the transaction, the director now owns 10,834 shares in the company, valued at approximately $931,398.98. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which can be accessed through this link. Also, insider Michael D. Cordano sold 9,404 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Monday, September 18th. The stock was sold at an average price of $88.71, for a total transaction of $834,228.84. Following the transaction, the insider now owns 75,385 shares in the company, valued at approximately $6,687,403.35. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold a total of 24,042 shares of company stock worth $2,116,143 in the last 90 days. 0.31% of the stock is owned by corporate insiders.
A number of hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently modified their holdings of WDC. Swiss National Bank raised its holdings in Western Digital by 2.1% during the 3rd quarter. Swiss National Bank now owns 1,073,763 shares of the data storage provider’s stock worth $92,773,000 after purchasing an additional 21,900 shares during the last quarter. Buckingham Capital Management Inc. bought a new stake in Western Digital during the 2nd quarter worth about $1,754,000. Fjarde AP Fonden Fourth Swedish National Pension Fund raised its holdings in Western Digital by 18.3% during the 2nd quarter. Fjarde AP Fonden Fourth Swedish National Pension Fund now owns 67,329 shares of the data storage provider’s stock worth $5,965,000 after purchasing an additional 10,428 shares during the last quarter. Capital Analysts LLC bought a new stake in Western Digital during the 2nd quarter worth about $2,777,000. Finally, Calamos Advisors LLC raised its holdings in Western Digital by 2.7% during the 2nd quarter. Calamos Advisors LLC now owns 45,377 shares of the data storage provider’s stock worth $4,020,000 after purchasing an additional 1,201 shares during the last quarter. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 83.99% of the company’s stock.
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About Western Digital
Western Digital Corporation (Western Digital) is a developer, manufacturer and provider of data storage devices and solutions that address the needs of the information technology (IT) industry and the infrastructure that enables the proliferation of data in virtually every industry. The Company’s portfolio of offerings addresses three categories: Datacenter Devices and Solutions (capacity and performance enterprise hard disk drives (HDDs), enterprise solid state drives (SSDs), datacenter software and system solutions); Client Devices (mobile, desktop, gaming and digital video hard drives, client SSDs, embedded products and wafers), and Client Solutions (removable products, hard drive content solutions and flash content solutions).
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