Analysts Hammer STEC Following Weak Guidance (STEC, OCZ, FIO, EMC, NTAP, STX, WDC)
Shares of data storage provider STEC Inc. (STEC) are plunging 38% after the company reported second-quarter profit and revenue results that missed its own previous estimates and Wall Street estimates while issuing third-quarter guidance that also falls short of analysts’ expectations. STEC forecast a third-quarter profit of 8-10 cents a share on revenue of $70-$72 million, well below the 31 cents on revenue of $96 million analysts were forecasting.
The news isn’t sitting well with investors as the Data Storage Stocks Index is plunging 4.2%. Stifel Nicolaus said STEC’s guidance is not a meaningful indicator of what rival OCZ Technology Group (OCZ) may have to say when it reports. That stock is down 3% today.
Needham & Co. said the two primary culprits behind STEC’s weak results and guidance were lost market share and lower SAS SSD volume. The Benchmark Co. downgraded STEC to “hold” from “buy” and said it is moving to the sidelines on the stock. JPMorgan pared its rating on the stock to “underweight” from “neutral” and slashed its price target to $13 from $23. ThinkEquity downgraded STEC to “hold” from “buy.” The research firm says it still believes in the SSD secular trend, but that it may be the second quarter of 2012 before this proves to be a catalyst for STEC.
Fusion-io (FIO) is tumbling 7% today while EMC (EMC), the largest data storage provider, is down 1%. NetApp (NTAP) is modestly higher while Seagate Technology (STX) and Western Digital (WDC) are fractionally lower.
Investors can track the Data Storage Stocks Index for performance trends and a suite of other metrics at tickerspy.com.
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