September 24, 2010
After spending much of the past six months at a less-than-impressive three-star rank, Seagate Technology (Nasdaq: STX ) has impressed enough top-performing members of our 170,000-strong Motley Fool CAPS community to climb all the way up to four stars. A total of 1,125 members have given their opinion on the disc drive maker, with many of them offering analysis and commentary explaining the recent optimism.
Many CAPS members have been strongly tempted by Seagate's valuation lately. Along with rival Western Digital (NYSE: WDC ) , Seagate's stock has been beaten down to a mid-single-digit earnings multiple that's even tempting many bears to have a closer look. Much of the recent declines in share price stem from fears of a slowdown in PC sales -- Intel (Nasdaq: INTC ) recently lowered its third-quarter guidance on weaker than expected PC demand while hard drive chip maker Marvell Technology (Nasdaq: MRVL ) saw lagging PC sales in the second quarter, too. Demand concerns also prompted UBS to cut its rating on PC giant Hewlett-Packard (NYSE: HPQ ) , one among many of the industry leaders expected to be negatively affected by the trend. Yet while the market pessimism has taken its toll on Seagate's shares, analysts still estimate a five-year annual growth rate of nearly 12%.
A number of investors also recognize threats from growing technologies like flash memory and solid-state drives coming from aggressive memory peers such as SanDisk (Nasdaq: SNDK ) and STEC (Nasdaq: STEC ) . But Seagate is working on technology development of its own and pushing further into the enterprise SSD market. And despite the near-term PC hurdles, Seagate sees added long-term growth potential from cloud computing, which it sees as a big source of future demand for storage. Market intelligence firm IDC backs up this message as it states that storage is the fastest-growing cloud computing service, and Seagate expects this trend to trigger a big jump in storage demand in the coming years. With the company's current share price packed with plenty of near-term pessimism, many CAPS members like the upside potential.
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