Fusion-io (FIO), which develops flash data storage products, is falling after hard drive maker Seagate (STX) announced last night that it would invest $40M in Fuison-io's competitor, Vident. Under the deal, Seagate will immediately begin offering Vident's products to its customers. Seagate and Vident will also collaborate on the development of other data storage products, the companies stated. In a note to investors earlier today, Piper Jaffray analyst Andrew Nowinski wrote that Seagate's investment in Vident shows that Seagate has confidence in the flash storage market. In addition, the deal will likely cause Fusion-io's valuation in any merger or acquisition transaction to increase, the analyst believes. While the deal between Seagate and Virdent will give the latter company access to more customers, the competitive dynamic between Vident and Fuison-io hasn't changed, according to Nowinski. Virdent has already received investments from a number of large companies including Cisco (CSCO) and Intel (INTC), and those deals haven't slowed Fusion-io's growth, Nowinski explained. The analyst maintained a $33 price target and Buy rating on Fusion-io, which fell 98c, or 4.77%, to $19.56 in mid-morning trading. Meanwhile, Seagate tumbled $3.17, or 8.47%, to $34.24 following its earnings report last night.
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