Despite a Strong Earnings Surprise, Western Digital Corporation Shares Fall on Soft Next-Quarter Guidance

Hard-drive builder Western Digital beat Street estimates for Q3 earnings, but the next period won't follow suit. Shares fell nearly 3% on the news.

Anders Bylund
Anders Bylund
Apr 30, 2014 at 6:47PM
Technology and Telecom

Image source: Western Digital.

Hard-drive maker Western Digital (NASDAQ:WDC) just reported results for the third quarter of fiscal 2014, complete with a separate stack of financial data and a slide deck for the conference call with analysts. In after-hours trading, shares fell 2.9% on the news.

For the third quarter, analysts were expecting adjusted earnings of $1.88 per share on $3.7 billion in total sales. The company delivered 32% year-over-year earnings growth, landing at $1.94 per share. Sales fell 3% to meet the Street estimate exactly.

Looking ahead, Western Digital set the midpoint of its fourth-quarter revenue guidance at $3.55 billion, while the earnings target centered on $1.70 per share. Both numbers fell short of the current analyst view.

Unit volumes were flat year over year, at just over 60 million. Average selling prices declined 5% to $58 per drive.

In a prepared statement, CFO Tim Leydon explained the soft guidance with seasonal revenue patterns and a $0.10 earnings impact per share from the acquisitions of Virident and sTec. The flash-memory maker and the solid-state drive pioneer added a large amount of dilutive new shares to Western Digital's earnings calculations. However, Leydon said, "we expect the sTec, VeloBit and Virident acquisitions to be accretive early in calendar year 2015."