On April 15, SanDisk Corporation (NASDAQ:SNDK) announced disappointing first quarter earnings. The company expected to post year-over-year losses after slashing estimates last month. The decrease in revenue reflects the fall in chip prices and product delays.
SanDisk posted revenue of $1.33 billion, marking a 12% year-over-year decrease and a 23% sequential decrease. This revenue is in-line with revised estimates but below the initial estimate of $1.4 billion. Non-GAAP earnings per share for the first quarter were $0.62, below the analyst consensus of $0.66 and substantially down from $1.44 in the same quarter last year.
On a conference call with investors, CEO Sanjay Mehrotra explained that first quarter results and future outlook were adversely impacted by the following factors: “first, product issues, including qualification delays impacting embedded and enterprise sales; second, our reduced 2015 opportunity in the enterprise market due to rapid market shifts; third, weaker than anticipated pricing and fourth, supply challenges.” The company said it plans to reduce its non-factory personnel by 5% in order to cut costs.
Mehrotra commented in the report, “We are disappointed with our financial and operational performance and are quickly taking aggressive measures to regain the excellence in execution that we have delivered in the past. Our top priorities for 2015 are to strengthen our product roadmap and rebuild our momentum across the business.”
Looking forward, SanDisk expects sequential decline in Q2 with quarterly revenue between $1.15 billion and $1.225 billion. SanDisk anticipates sequential revenue growth in both Q3 and Q4. However, SanDisk does not expect year-over-year revenue growth in the second half of 2015. Mehrotra added that the company is working “quickly and decisively to address the issues” hurting SanDisk’s performance.
Analysts weighed in following the disappointing, but expected, SanDisk report.
On April 16, analyst Ruben Roy of Piper Jaffray maintained an Overweight rating on SanDisk but lowered his price target from $82 to $74. Roy believes that stock has limited downside now that SanDisk has “reset expectations.” However, he noted that “near-term (3-6 months) stock upside may be limited until we get confirmation that 2H15 recovery is on track.” Roy thinks that SanDisk will hit a low point in the second quarter and begin recovering in the second half of 2015. He concluded, “We believe that SNDK specific setbacks are not reflective of market dynamics and we expect strong NAND demand, coupled with SNDK cost-downs… to benefit the company from 2H.”
Ruben Roy has a 65% overall success rate recommending stocks and a +13.9% average return per recommendation.
According to Smarter Analyst, Walter Piecyk of BTIG downgraded SanDisk from Hold to Sell and reduced his price target from $70 to $47. After SanDisk released earnings, Piecyk was “surprised the stock did not sell off more in after-market trading… following what was pretty ugly guidance.” Piecyk believes there is “still considerable downside to the stock.” He comments that SanDisk will “return to revenue and EPS growth in 2016,” but adds that it is “hard to argue for the visibility in those numbers given the current execution of management and the changing dynamics of the industry.”
Walter Piecyk has a 65% overall success rate recommending stocks with a +12.6% average return per recommendation.
Overall, the top analyst consensus for SanDisk on TipRanks is Moderate Buy.