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Spurt in retail sales helps SanDisk beat profit expectations

Sandisk's new portable solid state drives are displayed at the Sandisk booth during the 2015 Computex exhibition at the TWTC Nangang exhibition hall in Taipei, Taiwan, June 2, 2015. REUTERS/Pichi Chuang

By Sai Sachin R

(Reuters) - Data storage products maker SanDisk Corp (SNDK.O) reported a quarterly profit that was double what analysts had expected, helped by higher retail sales and new products.

The company's shares rose 13 percent to $61.20 in after-market trading on Wednesday.

"Expectations were very, very low heading into earnings," Wedbush Securities Betsy Van Hees said, adding that analysts had aggressively cut profit estimates for SanDisk before its quarterly report.

The company has been grappling with a delay in sales of certain embedded parts used in solid-state drives, which are faster and more reliable than traditional hard disk drives. Lower pricing and lean inventory levels have also weighed on recent results.

In April, SanDisk reported its first quarterly revenue decline in two years, forcing it to announce plans to cut 5 percent of its non-factory headcount to reduce costs. The company also warned that second-quarter revenue was likely to fall.

Total revenue fell 24 percent to $1.24 billion in the second quarter, hurt by lower sales of solid-state drives, but beat the average analyst estimate of $1.20 billion, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

However, retail sales as a percentage of total revenue rose to 39 percent in the quarter ended June 28, from 33 percent a year earlier.

SanDisk, which makes products for cloud computing and data centres, as well as smartphones and laptops, forecast current-quarter revenue of $1.35 billion-$1.45 billion.

Analysts were expecting revenue of $1.41 billion.

SanDisk's net income plunged to $81 million, or 38 cents per share, from $274 million, or $1.14 per share, a year earlier.

Excluding items, the company earned 66 cents per share, double the average analyst estimate of 33 cents.

SanDisk's shares, which have fallen nearly 45 percent this year, closed at $54.18 on the Nasdaq.

(Additional reporting by Supantha Mukjerjee in Bengaluru; Editing by Kirti Pandey and Simon Jennings)