Would anyone be willing to list each of these three and give a high level explaination of each and what makes them different? Also, if and why they will stay relevant and why you think so.
My gut tells me there is enough pie for all of them to eat until they are full, but I get a little lost on the advantages and disadvantages of each.
I owned STEC for a long time because for a while they were the only player on wall street. It hasn't been a real nice ride, but I still think they could see their day in the sun or at leaset get a ride from a buyout.
- SSD Revenue from Enterprise $14 million and $57 million for all other SSD sales - Gross Margins 21% - Inventory increased - Cash on hand is $46 million - Profitable - New entry into the enterprise flash market. Most recent earnings call showed signs that their move to the enterprise was more than just talk. To help mitigate risk they need to move from the SandForce controller as soon as possible and develop their own caching software. This would help solidify their position as an enterprise player. Watch for them to focus on developing out VSA to help maintain a competitive advantage over others who would follow them into enterprise nirvana.
STEC (previous quarter):
- SSD Revenue from Enterprise $69 million - Gross Margins 44% - Inventory decreased - Cash on hand is $213 million - Profitable - One of the first public companies to claim victory in the enterprise flash drive market. Lack of innovation and completely ignoring the emerging PCIe segment allowed competitors to catch up and even pass them. Recently announced several innovative new products that were developed in-house including caching software. But their revised guidance down, lack of a strong enterprise sales team and increased competition has the world in a wait and see mode. They are one of the more likely acquisition targets.
FIO (previous quarter):
- SSD Revenue from Enterprise $72 million - Gross Margins 50% - Inventory decreased - Cash on hand is $218 million - Profitable - One of the first companies to claim victory in the enterprise PCIe flash market. Recent product refresh, software acquisitions and virtualization support show they are making a move away from their roots. The move still has that new car smell so the lack of software revenue has the world wondering what to make of them. If they can successfully make the move to high value software they can maintain high margins and competitive advantages. If not they will feel the squeeze of competitive pressures. Only wild card is VSL and the extensions they are developing which could help them secure big software partners.
fly in the ointment (or gorilla on the couch): HPQ may, and I stress *may*, put them all out to pasture with the memristor storage part. the factor (and I don't know the answer) that matters is write protocol for memristor. If it follows NAND, needing a bulk erase and only writing 1 to 0, then not so much. If it allows bi-directional bit writing and byte addressable, then all that fancy controller IP at all of the current SSD vendors goes up in smoke.