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Western Digital (WDC) to Post Q1 Earnings: What's in Store?

Western Digital's (WDC) Q1 performance is likely to benefit from incremental demand from cloud customers and recovery in enterprise markets.

This story originally appeared on Zacks

Western Digital WDC is slated to report first-quarter fiscal 2022 results on Oct 28.

- Zacks

For the to-be-reported quarter, the company projects non-GAAP earnings between $2.25 and $2.55 per share. The consensus mark for earnings is pegged at $2.46 per share, which suggests an increase of 278.5% from the year-ago quarter’s levels.

Western Digital expects non-GAAP revenues in the range of $4.9-$5.1 billion in the fiscal first quarter. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for revenues is currently pegged at $5.04 billion, indicating an increase of 28.6% from the prior-year quarter’s reported figure.

Western Digital Corporation Price and EPS Surprise


Western Digital Corporation Price and EPS Surprise

Western Digital Corporation price-eps-surprise | Western Digital Corporation Quote


Factors to Note Ahead of Q1 Release

Western Digital’s top-line performance is likely to have benefitted from strength in its flash and hard drive solutions and increasing investments in digital transformation by business enterprises in the about-to-be-reported quarter.

Strong cloud data center demand and recovering enterprise markets owing to increased on-premises IT infrastructure spending as employees return to the workplace is expected to have positively contributed to revenues.

Western Digital’s Client Devices’ segment is likely to have benefitted from uptick in PC shipments triggered by coronavirus induced work-from-home wave and online schooling in the fiscal first quarter. Per IDC’s data, PC shipments rose 3.9% in the third quarter of calendar year 2021.

Robust demand for latest gaming hardware and consoles is anticipated to have boosted sales of the company’s SSDs. The company’s WD Black product line is expected to have incremental adoption as gamers move toward more customized gaming solutions.

The Zacks Consensus Estimate for Client Devices revenues for the fiscal first quarter is currently pegged at $2.238 billion, which suggests growth of 15% from the year-ago quarter’s figures.

Higher adoption of Western Digital’s energy-assisted drives (16 and 18 terabytes) and the company’s second-generation NVMe enterprise solid state drives (SSDs) by cloud providers and big enterprise OEMs are expected to have boosted performance of the Data Center Devices and Solutions’ segment. The company achieved qualifications for its energy-assisted drives at nearly all its cloud and enterprise customers in third-quarter fiscal 2021.

The consensus for revenues from Data Center Devices and Solutions is pegged at $1.831 billion, which indicates growth of 62.2% from the prior-year quarter’s levels.

Strength in both HDD and flash-based solutions and across all other key product categories is expected to have driven the top line of the Client Solutions’ segment. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for Client Solutions’ revenues for the to-be-reported quarter is currently pegged at $932 million, which suggests growth of 10% from the prior-year quarter’s reported figure.

Coming to the company’s product group, the Zacks Consensus Estimate for Flash revenues is at $2.602 billion, up 25.2% from the prior-year quarter’s levels. Increasing demand for embedded flash solutions in virtual reality, automotive and industrial and smart home devices, bodes well.

The Zacks Consensus Estimate for hard disk drive or HDD revenues for the fiscal first quarter is pegged at $2.399 billion that indicates an increase of 30% on a year-over-year basis.

However, supply chain constraints, component shortages and logistics bottlenecks witnessed globally are likely to have affected the company’s performance in the quarter to be reported.

Higher costs associated with the ramping up of next-generation energy assisted hard drives and increasing COVID-19 related expenses amid stiff competition in the disk drive market from Seagate STX might have dented fiscal first-quarter profitability.

What the Zacks Model Unveils

Our proven model doesn’t conclusively predict an earnings beat for Western Digital this time around. The combination of a positive Earnings ESP and a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy), 2 (Buy) or 3 (Hold) increases the odds of an earnings beat.

Western Digital has an Earnings ESP of -2.10% and a Zacks Rank #4 (Sell). You can uncover the best stocks to buy or sell before they’re reported with our Earnings ESP Filter.

Stocks to Consider

Here are some stocks you may consider as our proven model shows that these have the right mix of elements to beat estimates this time.

Texas Instruments TXN has an Earnings ESP of +9.22% and currently carries a Zacks Rank of 2. You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.

Advanced Micro Devices AMD has an Earnings ESP of +2.31% and a Zacks Rank of 2.

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