Wall Street Transcript Interview with Mark Miller, Senior Research Analyst at Noble Financial Group, Inc.: Data Centers Increasingly Adopt Solid-State Technology

Wall Street Transcript

67 WALL STREET, New York - September 13, 2013 - The Wall Street Transcript has just published its Data Hosting Centers and Data Storage Report offering a timely review of the sector to serious investors and industry executives. This special feature contains expert industry commentary through in-depth interviews with public company CEOs and Equity Analysts. The full issue is available by calling (212) 952-7433 or via The Wall Street Transcript Online.

Topics covered: Data Hosting Centers - Flash Memory - Cloud Computing Secular Trends - Data Center REITs - Colocation, Managed Hosting and Cloud Computing - International Enterprise and Consumer Demand

Companies include: Seagate Technology (STX), Western Digital Corp. (WDC), Hutchinson Technology Inc. (HTCH), Intevac Inc. (IVAC), Micron Technology Inc. (MU), SanDisk Corp. (SNDK), Intel Corporation (INTC), STEC, Inc. (STEC), EMC Corporation (EMC), International Business Machine (IBM) and many more.

In the following excerpt from the Data Hosting Centers and Data Storage Report, an expert analyst discusses the outlook for the sector for investors:

TWST: How has 2013 been so far for these companies? What demand and pricing trends are you seeing?

Mr. Miller: I think you can get an assessment of that by the fact that to the surprise of many, both Seagate and Western Digital went to all-time highs one month ago. Now, in terms of their most recent quarter, both firms posted upside. Seagate was only on the upside by a penny, but Western Digital beat by $0.15.

This has surprised many people who have been focused on the decline in the drive TAM. Prior to the Thailand floods, you had a drive TAM of about 170 million units a quarter, and that's been about 135 million units the last three quarters. As such, there was a lot of doom and gloom about the disk drive industry going away.

But actually what we have been telling people for some time is that there is a paradigm shift in storage. Yes, laptops, PCs and corresponding drives are in secular decline, however the need for storage is growing at a 35% CAGR, and that's expected through 2016. Most storage today is still residing on hard drives; roughly 10% of total storage is currently on solid-state-type technology.

Last year, the drive industry shipped over 63 million enterprise class drives, what are called business-critical and mission-critical hard drives, and solid-state drive shipments for enterprise storage were 5.7 million units. However, as featured at a conference last week in Santa Clara, the Flash Memory Summit, there is a growing adoption of solid-state technology into the data centers. I think that's one of the principal reasons you've seen a decline in Seagate's stock of 19% over the last month - that and some other technology developments.

Micron (MU) surprised people by shipping a 16-nanometer flash chip. Most people thought that flash memory would have to convert to what are called 3D structures, versus the current planar structures to continue the cost reductions of flash memory....

For more of this interview and many others visit the Wall Street Transcript - a unique service for investors and industry researchers - providing fresh commentary and insight through verbatim interviews with CEOs, portfolio managers and research analysts. This special issue is available by calling (212) 952-7433 or via The Wall Street Transcript Online.

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