Last night, SanDisk (Nasdaq: SNDK ) slashed its revenue and margin guidance for the current quarter. Sales are coming in about 10% below earlier guidance and gross margins will also be weaker than expected. SanDisk points an accusing finger at soft demand for its memory products, combined with falling prices.
As one might expect, SanDisk shares took a beating on the news and fell about 10% overnight. But the market damage goes deeper than that. Even on a generally terrible market day, memory specialists fell harder than other sectors. Solid-state drive expert STEC (Nasdaq: STEC ) plunged as much as 2.8%, while Micron Technology (Nasdaq: MU ) and OCZ Technology (Nasdaq: OCZ ) took gut punches to the tune of about 6.5%.
And it's not as if memory stocks were flying high before this sectorwide purging, in dire need of a correction. None of these stocks have kept pace with the Nasdaq 100 Index (INDEX: ^IXIC ) in 2012, or indeed even over the last 12 months. Keep in mind that the year in the rearview mirror included catalysts like flooding damage to the rivals in the traditional hard drive industry, the rise of thin-and-light ultrabook systems with SSD storage, and the stampede to smartphones and tablets with gigabytes of flash memory inside.
In short, I'm sure that Mr. Market is overreacting to SanDisk's announcement here. Bundle these comments together with Micron's management forecasting a brief pause in SSD sales as the market corrects for holiday-powered oversupplies, and SanDisk looks like an opportunistic buy right now. Traders have magnified a fairly insignificant short-term issue into a monster. I'm starting a bullish CAPScall on SanDisk right here.
Going against the flow can make you rich. The market's best investors like to buy exactly when everyone else is selling. You wouldn't believe what those geniuses are buying today.