Market Overview

Major Players in the Data Storage Industry

The data storage industry has a huge potential for growth, but is intensely competitive. Thanks to the penetration of smartphones, tablets, and laptop computers, as well as how those computers have become deeply woven into our daily lives, the need for data storage will likely continue to rise for some time to come. Here are some of the major players in the industry.

EMC Corp (NYSE: EMC) is the largest player in this industry, with a 52.18B market cap. EMC has two divisions, EMC Information Infrastructure, which focuses on storage and security, and VMware Virtual Infrastructure, which focuses on virtualization and cloud-based solutions utilized by businesses. A recent downgrade of EMC's stock from “neutral” to “underperform” by Zacks certainly hurts their image. EMC was down in the previous quarter by 6.21% but up 13.21% over the last year.

Western Digital Corp. (NASDAQ: WDC) has been a favorite player in the data storage industry that focuses on internal, external, and portable Hard Disk Drive storage. While HDDs have become the standard that most consumers and companies have come to expect, Solid State Drives (SSDs) have been on the rise due to their smaller size and lack of moving parts, which gives them an advantage in resiliency and portability. HDDs are the core business of Western Digital, but they have made moves in the SSD and cloud-storage areas, giving investors hope that they will adapt. Western Digital is also sitting on a large pile of cash that they could easily utilize to further advance their development of new technologies. WDC is down 20.35% over the last quarter but up 39.52% over last year.

SanDisk Corporation (NASDAQ: SNDK) is another noteworthy player in the data storage industry, but its focus is nearly the opposite of Western Digital. SanDisk's core business focuses on flash memory solutions and SSDs. Given the popularity and portability of these storage forms, SanDisk faces fierce competition from many smaller firms just entering these areas. Quarterly numbers show a 6.01% decline in the stock price, and year-over-year it is down 11.39%.

Seagate Technology (NASDAQ: STX) is roughly the same size as Western Digital, and has a similar core business. Seagate's most recent quarterly earnings were far below estimates, however, revenues were up and unit shipments increased as well. Despite these varying indicators, Seagate is a major player in this industry and looks to stay that way. Quarterly, the stock is down 22.57% but since last year, it is up 72.89%.

Overall, the data storage industry has been through a big downturn and is currently on the rise. Analysts generally point to the huge potential for growth in the industry as a whole. They also point out the potential for new competitors to enter the market and dilute the share of the major players.

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