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Why Shares of Western Digital Corporation Fell 14.6% in April

By Keith Noonan – Updated May 11, 2018 at 10:43AM

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Is the maker of hard drives and memory chips a worthwhile value play after last month's big sell-offs?

What happened

Shares of Western Digital Corporation (WDC 0.99%) fell 14.6% in April, according to data provided by S&P Global Market Intelligence.

WDC Chart

WDC data by YCharts.

The hard-drive and memory-chip maker saw its share price drop following its third-quarter earnings release. Performance for the March-ending quarter beat the average analyst estimate, but the stock still sold off following publication of the results. 

A Western Digital Solid State Drive for PC.

Image source: Western Digital.

So what

The average analyst estimate called for $3.29 in earnings per share for the March-ended quarter, with actual EPS of $3.63 for the period arriving well ahead of that target. Sales for the period came in at $5 billion, up 7.5% year over year and edging past the the average analyst estimate of $4.9 billion in sales. Yet, despite topping analyst forecasts, Western Digital's performance for the quarter and guidance for the current period failed to meet the market's expectations, and the stock saw steep pricing declines following the earnings release.

Now what

Western Digital still has room for growth with its solid-state drives in the consumer market, and there also looks to be an ongoing opportunity in the enterprise-storage space. Even as more consumer storage migrates to the cloud, there's still a need for physical storage at the data-center level. As such, growth for the enterprise cloud services and trends like the Internet of Things bode well for Western Digital.

The recent sell-offs have the company's stock looking cheap. Western Digital is valued at just 1.1 times this year's expected sales and 5.4 times expected earnings, and its stock also comes with a 2.6% dividend yield. There is risk of disruption involved, but for investors looking for value stocks in the tech sector, Western Digital could be a worthwhile play.

Keith Noonan has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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