Investors Buy High Volume of Put Options on Western Digital Corporation (WDC)

Western Digital Corporation (NASDAQ:WDC) was the target of some unusual options trading on Friday. Stock traders acquired 12,497 put options on the stock. This is an increase of 116% compared to the average volume of 5,788 put options.

Western Digital Corporation (NASDAQ:WDC) opened at 79.90 on Friday. The stock has a 50 day moving average price of $88.96 and a 200-day moving average price of $84.38. Western Digital Corporation has a one year low of $44.43 and a one year high of $95.77. The firm has a market capitalization of $23.33 billion, a PE ratio of 59.63 and a beta of 1.22.

Western Digital Corporation (NASDAQ:WDC) last posted its earnings results on Thursday, July 27th. The data storage provider reported $2.93 earnings per share for the quarter, topping the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $2.51 by $0.42. Western Digital Corporation had a net margin of 2.08% and a return on equity of 21.23%. The company had revenue of $4.84 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $4.82 billion. During the same quarter in the prior year, the business posted $0.79 EPS. The firm’s revenue was up 38.5% compared to the same quarter last year. On average, equities analysts forecast that Western Digital Corporation will post $12.58 earnings per share for the current year.

The firm also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Monday, October 16th. Investors of record on Friday, September 29th will be issued a $0.50 dividend. The ex-dividend date is Thursday, September 28th. This represents a $2.00 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 2.50%. Western Digital Corporation’s dividend payout ratio is presently 156.25%.

In other Western Digital Corporation news, insider Mark P. Long sold 3,034 shares of Western Digital Corporation stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, May 15th. The stock was sold at an average price of $89.54, for a total transaction of $271,664.36. Following the sale, the insider now directly owns 71,342 shares in the company, valued at approximately $6,387,962.68. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through the SEC website. Also, EVP Michael Charles Ray sold 524 shares of Western Digital Corporation stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, June 2nd. The stock was sold at an average price of $92.30, for a total value of $48,365.20. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold a total of 126,966 shares of company stock worth $11,263,675 over the last ninety days. Corporate insiders own 0.46% of the company’s stock.

A number of large investors have recently bought and sold shares of the stock. Vanguard Group Inc. raised its stake in Western Digital Corporation by 4.2% in the second quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 29,942,849 shares of the data storage provider’s stock valued at $2,652,936,000 after buying an additional 1,201,394 shares during the period. Iridian Asset Management LLC CT raised its stake in Western Digital Corporation by 1.8% in the second quarter. Iridian Asset Management LLC CT now owns 5,641,706 shares of the data storage provider’s stock valued at $499,855,000 after buying an additional 100,195 shares during the period. Ameriprise Financial Inc. raised its stake in Western Digital Corporation by 10.0% in the second quarter. Ameriprise Financial Inc. now owns 4,443,866 shares of the data storage provider’s stock valued at $393,778,000 after buying an additional 405,293 shares during the period. Northern Trust Corp raised its stake in Western Digital Corporation by 0.5% in the second quarter. Northern Trust Corp now owns 3,191,625 shares of the data storage provider’s stock valued at $282,778,000 after buying an additional 16,436 shares during the period. Finally, Geode Capital Management LLC raised its stake in Western Digital Corporation by 9.6% in the first quarter. Geode Capital Management LLC now owns 3,031,364 shares of the data storage provider’s stock valued at $249,848,000 after buying an additional 264,706 shares during the period. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 82.39% of the company’s stock.

WDC has been the subject of a number of research analyst reports. Royal Bank Of Canada reiterated a “buy” rating on shares of Western Digital Corporation in a report on Monday, June 12th. BidaskClub upgraded Western Digital Corporation from a “buy” rating to a “strong-buy” rating in a research report on Wednesday, June 28th. Vetr upgraded Western Digital Corporation from a “buy” rating to a “strong-buy” rating and set a $97.97 price objective for the company in a research report on Monday, May 22nd. Barclays PLC boosted their price objective on Western Digital Corporation to $131.00 and gave the company an “overweight” rating in a research report on Friday, July 28th. Finally, Benchmark Co. reiterated a “buy” rating and set a $135.00 price target on shares of Western Digital Corporation in a research report on Wednesday, May 24th. One research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, seven have issued a hold rating, twenty-eight have given a buy rating and two have given a strong buy rating to the company. Western Digital Corporation presently has an average rating of “Buy” and an average price target of $104.93.

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About Western Digital Corporation

Western Digital Corporation (Western Digital) is a developer, manufacturer and provider of data storage devices and solutions that address the needs of the information technology (IT) industry and the infrastructure that enables the proliferation of data in virtually every industry. The Company’s portfolio of offerings addresses three categories: Datacenter Devices and Solutions (capacity and performance enterprise hard disk drives (HDDs), enterprise solid state drives (SSDs), datacenter software and system solutions); Client Devices (mobile, desktop, gaming and digital video hard drives, client SSDs, embedded products and wafers), and Client Solutions (removable products, hard drive content solutions and flash content solutions).

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