Flash memory maker SanDisk Corporation (NASDAQ:SNDK)’s second-quarter results were simply outstanding. One look at the numbers and the margin by which it beat consensus estimates will certainly leave you impressed. However, at least to me, SanDisk’s latest results don’t come as a surprise as I’d expected the company to deliver a beat and get better going forward.
Hammering the estimates
There are some solid catalysts that have been pushing SanDisk Corporation (NASDAQ:SNDK)’s performance to new highs, such as robust demand for its products and strength in pricing of NAND flash memory. These factors helped the company post a terrific increase of 43% in revenue, which grew to $1.48 billion in the quarter, comfortably ahead of the $1.4 billion consensus.
The jump in net income was even more impressive, as it jumped to $262 million in the quarter from just $13 million last year. On an adjusted basis, SanDisk earned $1.21 per share in the quarter, handsomely beating the consensus estimate of $0.93 per share. What’s more, SanDisk Corporation (NASDAQ:SNDK) saw its gross margin improve to 46.7% in the quarter from 28.3% in the same period last year, on a non-GAAP basis.
So, while previous quarter’s results were impressive, the outlook was even better. SanDisk is looking at revenue between $1.53 billion and $1.58 billion in the current quarter, which is again better than the $1.49 billion that analysts had estimated. Moreover, the company bumped up its revenue guidance for the full year $5.95 billion to $6.05 billion, and this is the second time in two quarters that it has raised its full year outlook.
It is clear that SanDisk Corporation (NASDAQ:SNDK) has hit their stride, and I believe that the good times are set to continue. Why? Let me tell you one by one.
Strong pricing to continue
Memory makers are adding lesser capacity than required in an effort to provide support to NAND flash pricing, and SanDisk is no different. Earlier in May, CEO Sanjay Mehrotra had stated that chipmakers will be adding less capacity, even though demand for flash memory is expected to rise due to rise in sales of smartphones and tablets. So, with capacity additions expected to be lower than actual demand, simple economics tells us that NAND prices will continue their journey north.
SanDisk Corporation (NASDAQ:SNDK) will keep its supply growth on a leash going forward and it is looking at an even better gross margin performance in the current quarter. It is looking at 47%-48% in gross margin in the ongoing quarter, driven by the demand-supply balance and better pricing. Hence, a better gross margin performance should help SanDisk’s earnings grow going forward.
SanDisk has been constantly improving its product mix and this was one of the reasons why it turned in a stellar performance in the previous quarter. Sales of embedded products and solid-state drives (SSDs), which carry higher margins, have been strong and the trend is expected to continue going forward.
SanDisk Corporation (NASDAQ:SNDK) has been expanding its customer base for embedded products while it has completed a number of customer qualifications in client SSDs. Shipments of its client SSDs developed with its 19-nanometer technology are already underway, and revenue is expected to start flowing in from the current quarter.
Coming to enterprise SSDs, the company has been growing revenue in double-digits for the past three quarters and is intent on keeping this momentum intact. SanDisk recently announced that it will be acquiring SMART Storage Systems, strengthening its portfolio of enterprise SSDs. This acquisition is expected to add a couple of new Tier 1 storage OEM customers to SanDisk’s portfolio, and give it the advantage of having its products qualified at six out of the top seven OEMs.