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Western Digital (WDC) Unveils Storage Products at CES 2019

Zacks Equity Research

Western Digital Corporation WDC unveiled a plethora of solutions at Consumer Electronics Show 2018 (CES) to aid individual users counter the problem of content explosion. The company showcased high speed portable SSDs, latest FlashbackUSB Drives and 4TB flash drive prototype. These storage devices are expected to enhance overall drive capacity, reliability and performance.

With the increasing need to capture and share rich content, lens technology and video streaming are becoming more and more immersive. Consumers are looking for better ways to access and preserve their ever growing collection of photos and videos.

These product additions will enhance Western Digital’s existing product portfolio and aid it in getting a strong foothold in the global SSD market. Per TechNavio, enterprise SSD market is expected to witness a CAGR of 17% during 2016-2020.

Notably share of the company rallied more than 3%, yesterday, following the news.

Western Digital Corporation Price


Western Digital Corporation Price | Western Digital Corporation Quote

Product Details

The company showcased the latest SanDisk Extreme PRO Portable SSD. This new product is an exceptionally fast and cost-effective addition to the Western Digital dual drive portfolio. It offers up to 1GB/s transfer speed, and comes in 2 Terabytes (TB) capacities. It is definitely going to improve the computing experience and will be available worldwide in Spring 2019.

Western Digital also announced My Passport Go. The new drive is equipped with enhanced data security features, such as WD Security software, which provides automatic data backup. Additionally, My Passport Go drives featuresup to 1TB of portable capacity, which offers data backup in the cloud.

Leading the way for the future of flash storage technology, Western Digital also launched 4TB USB Type-C flash drive along with the SanDisk Flashback-connected USB drive. Flashback equips users to manage huge volumes of digital data online by creating a copy of their USB drive content, which in turn helps them in storing, organizing and securing photos, videos, music and important documents.

Growth Prospects

Anticipating a potential acceleration in cloud deployments, Western Digital is also investing heavily to deliver high-capacity storage devices that will support expansion of cloud infrastructure and cloud applications.

We believe, solid adoption of flash-based products — on the back of increase in capacity enterprise products, and demand for data center devices and cloud solutions — are noteworthy. The 12TB drive, in particular, is witnessing rapid adoption among other capacities across emerging and established markets.

The company’s strength in BiCS3 and BiCS4 offerings deserve a special mention. Western Digital began sampling its 1.33 TB, four-bits-per-cell infrastructure for 96-layer 3D NAND BiCS4 device.

The company also expanded its data center solutions portfolio. The company unveiled new ActiveScale5.3 object storage system, Ultrastar Serv60+8 hybrid storage server platform and new enhancements to its IntelliFlash N Series family.

Western Digital is focusing more on the enterprise side, which is the key growth area in the information technology sector. Apart from this, the focus shift toward enterprise is likely to reduce the company’s dependence on the PC market and will help in improvising margins.

Bottom Line

The new products are aimed at further innovation in memory technologies, which in turn will strengthen the company’s product portfolio. We believe that the momentum from the launch of the Western Digital product suite will help the company to emerge as a major player in the rapidly growing storage market, in turn lending greater stability to its revenue stream. Additionally, this will help Western Digital gain new customers, going forward.

Lastly, we believe that new enhancements to its data center storage portfolio and other product rollouts are likely to aid the company in reinforcing its market position against the likes of Seagate STX and Micron MU.

Zacks Rank & Key Picks

Currently, Western Digital carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold).

A better-ranked Computer Storage Stock worth considering is Pure Storage, Inc. PSTG, which has a long-term earnings growth rate of 17.5% and Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.

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