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Author: TMFGebinr Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Supernova Phoenix 1
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Subject: WDC - Q2 2014 - my thoughts Date: 1/31/2014 4:31 PM
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Hi everyone,

OK, this one was a couple of weeks ago, but I promised myself I'd get it done by the end of this week. Considering it's now late on Friday afternoon, I'm barely making it. But I really like the company and its prospects, so I want to share what I'm thinking today.

Release: http://www.wdc.com/en/company/pressroom/releases/?release=06...
Transcript: http://seekingalpha.com/article/1961171-western-digital-mana...
Slides: http://www.wdc.com/wdproducts/library/company/investor/Q214i...

It beat both revenue and EPS estimates (the latter by $0.11 with $2.19 per share) as the demand for memory storage was a bit higher than most had expected.

That's all well and good, and this company has been amazing for the MUE port (the whole position is up about 125%), but I really like where this company is going.

If you remember when I got in, it was shortly after the floods in Thailand had knocked out a bunch of manufacturing of HDDs. The stock was knocked down because of that, but also for a couple of other reasons. One was that PC sales were declining, with obvious consequences for the industry. The other was that supply hadn't matched with demand very well and at times there would be too little, while at other times, there would be too much.

Well, I grabbed shares, the problems from the flood were fixed, WD bought the memory storage business of HGST, the HDD industry dropped to three competitors (WD and SanDisk in first and second with about 40% of the market each, with Toshiba in a distant third place), and the cloud really started expanding. WD has also been buying up small SSD makers, which expands the company's line of storage products.

Now WD will continue selling into enterprise and cloud storage (and the expected demand growth is 34% a year through 2020 -- phenomenal), but it's becoming more than just that. It now has drives of all types, including SSDs, which are slowly becoming bigger and better. IT's moving to be the provider of flexible storage and integrated storage needs, where the type of storage needed determines the medium. For storage of data accessed little, there are HDDs. For storage of stuff that's needed quickly and all the time, there are SSDs. There's also hybrid. All kinds of permutations and the system accessing all this needs to be smart enough to know which type and where.

There are a couple of decent presentations made recently that outline where things are going: http://files.shareholder.com/downloads/WDC/2847351461x0x7116... and http://files.shareholder.com/downloads/WDC/2847351461x0x7056.... I really like how this company is looking out seven years from now, trying to anticipate what is likely to happen, and positioning itself to be the leader.

In my personal accounts, WDC sits at No. 5 as far as both dollars invested and current position size. And I'm thinking strongly of adding more to the position (as well as the MUE position, though I'm near the top end of position sizes already for this one, so there's not much room to add). I really like where this company is positioned and where it seems it can go. And I love the $2.2 billion in FCF it is generating yearly.

Cheers,
Jim
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