Western Digital says flash market has hit its trough

Western Digital CEO Steve Milligan said the flash storage market has hit its trough and conditions are improving.

Milligan’s take was a welcome sign given that Western Digital has been whacked by a rough flash market. Milligan said fiscal 2019 was challenging across the board, but is starting to see momentum in the enterprise for solid state NVMe drives.

The storage company reported a fourth quarter net loss of $197 million, or 67 cents a share, on revenue of $3.6 billion. Non-GAAP earnings were 17 cents a share for the fourth quarter.

Wall Street was expecting Western Digital to report adjusted fourth quarter earnings of 17 cents a share on revenue of $3.67 billion. In the third quarter, Western Digital took a large inventory writedown

For fiscal 2019, Western Digital reported a net loss of $754 million, or $2.58 a share, on revenue of $16.6 billion, down from $20.6 billion in 2018.

“With continuing expectations for a positive demand environment, a robust product portfolio and expanding customer engagements, we expect to deliver improving financial results as we move through fiscal 2020,” said Milligan.

Milligan’s comments echo what Micron Technology said about a trough in the flash market and improving storage demand.

For the fiscal first quarter, Western Digital said it expects revenue to be between $3.8 billion and $4 billion with non-GAAP earnings between 15 cents a share and 35 cents a share. 

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Western Digital says flash market has hit its trough
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