Revenue, Profits Rise for Western Digital (MESA)

Increased demand for its embedded and branded flash-based products and solid-state drives (SSDs) helped carry storage solutions firm Western Digital to a solid fiscal first quarter (ended Sept. 29) of 2018.

The company, which includes the HGST and SanDisk brands, Oct. 26 reported a quarterly profit of $681 million off revenue of $5.2 billion. That was compared to revenue of $4.7 billion and a loss of $366 million during the same fiscal quarter a year ago. “We continued our strong financial performance in the September quarter, demonstrating the power of our platform and underscoring the differentiated value we can deliver as a comprehensive data storage solutions leader,” said company CEO Steve Milligan, in a press release. “We generated strong operating cash flow, reflecting continued healthy demand in many of our end markets, most notably in our flash-based businesses.

“With unabated growth in data creation leading to new challenges and opportunities for our customers, our transformation continues to resonate in the marketplace.”

Year-over-year revenue from Western Digital’s Client Devices (notebook, desktop and consumer electronics HDD), Client Solutions (branded HDD and branded flash) and Data Center Devices and Solutions (enterprise HDD and SSD, as well as data center software and solutions) divisions all saw significant revenue gains, compared to the same quarter of fiscal 2017 for the company.

“From a flash industry standpoint, our estimate for bit growth for calendar 2017 remains at the low end of our long-term industry outlook of 35% to 45%,” Mike Cordano, Western Digital’s president and COO, said during a conference call with investors. “For calendar 2018, we expect overall industry bit growth to continue to be in that long-term range.

“Given that the secular growth drivers for flash remain strong, we continue to believe that the favorable industry conditions will persist through the first half of calendar 2018.”

Operating income for the quarter was $905 million, up from $232 million during the same quarter a year ago.