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Why Seagate Technology plc Stock Fell 11.1% in June

By Anders Bylund – Jul 7, 2017 at 1:24PM

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The hard drive specialist plunged when archrival Western Digital reported strong demand -- for product categories where Seagate isn't a factor.

What happened

Shares of Seagate Technology (STX) fell 11.1% in June, according to data from S&P Global Market Intelligence.

So what

The bulk of Seagate's June pain came when rival hard drive maker Western Digital (WDC -0.14%) issued preliminary fourth-quarter results with wider gross margins and higher bottom-line profits than previously expected. Western Digital explained its surprising profitability with strong demand for helium-filled 10-terabyte drives and flash-based storage devices -- two areas where Seagate is not a serious competitor. Seagate shares immediately plunged 7% on the news while Western Digital traded fairly flat that day.

Traditional hard drive, opened up and vandalized with a screwdriver.

Image source: Getty Images.

Now what

Both Seagate and Western Digital have been crushing the market in recent quarters. Seagate shares have soared 62% higher over the last 52 weeks, while Western Digital delivered an 84% return over the same period. End-market demand for digital storage is more than healthy, even in the old-school hard drive sector that caters to low-cost storage devices with large capacities.

Meanwhile, Western Digital shares can be bought for just 7.2 times forward earnings estimates today, and Seagate's forward P/E ratio stands at a very affordable 8.3. These soaring storage stocks appear to have more room to run.

Anders Bylund owns shares of Western Digital. The Motley Fool also owns shares of Western Digital. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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