NEW YORK – On Friday, analysts at JPMorgan (NYSE:JPM) announced that they had raised their price target on Western Digital (NASDAQ:WDC) from $ 47 to $ 55 per share. The announcement was made via a research report that the bank circulated to investors. The firm currently has a “neutral” rating on the stock. JPMorgan Chase & Co.’s price objective suggests a potential downside of 22.90% from the stock’s previous close.
Following the announcement, shares of Western Digital traded up almost 3 percent on Friday in heavier than average volume and is currently trading at a 52-week high. The company’s moving average is extended towards $ 65, and the 200-day moving average was close to $ 60 per share. After Friday’s trading, the company had a market capitalization of more than $ 17 billion and a price-to-earnings ratio of 17.72.
While JP Morgan raised their price target on Western Digital the consensus picture is mixed. Analysts at FBN Securities recently downgraded the company from outperform to sector perform, while increasing their price target to $ 70 from $ 75. Meanwhile, analysts at Barclays raised their price target from $65 to $75 with an equal rate rating. Analysts at Needham & Company raised their price target from $ 77 to $ 81 in a research note last week.
A quick look at the analysts covering this stock shows that three have issued a hold rating while, seven have issued a buy rating, and one has issued a strong buy rating. Western Digital Corp. currently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and an average target price of $ 74.83.
The company reported on Friday that non-GAAP earnings per share for the first quarter of fiscal 2014 came in at $ 2.12, which was $ .08 better than Zacks’ Consensus Estimate of $2.04. However, earnings were down from $ 2.36 per share from the first quarter of 2013. However, the company does appear to be well positioned to tap into the growth of digital data including small to medium sized enterprises, and they are investing to attract more customers and to develop new production. The investments should keep margin flat to even in the near-term, and the stock might not be the right play for someone looking for large returns.