Shares of Seagate Technology (NASDAQ: STX) fell 11.1% in June, according to data from S&P Global Market Intelligence.
The bulk of Seagate's June pain came when rival hard drive maker Western Digital (NASDAQ: WDC) issued preliminary fourth-quarter results with wider gross margins and higher bottom-line profits than previously expected. Western Digital explained its surprising profitability with strong demand for helium-filled 10-terabyte drives and flash-based storage devices -- two areas where Seagate is not a serious competitor. Seagate shares immediately plunged 7% on the news while Western Digital traded fairly flat that day.
Both Seagate and Western Digital have been crushing the market in recent quarters. Seagate shares have soared 62% higher over the last 52 weeks, while Western Digital delivered an 84% return over the same period. End-market demand for digital storage is more than healthy, even in the old-school hard drive sector that caters to low-cost storage devices with large capacities.
Meanwhile, Western Digital shares can be bought for just 7.2 times forward earnings estimates today, and Seagate's forward P/E ratio stands at a very affordable 8.3. These soaring storage stocks appear to have more room to run.
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