Why More Trouble Could Be In Store for Crashing Western Digital Corp (WDC)

A flurry of negative news has called Western Digital Corp's (NASDAQ:WDC) purchase of SanDisk Corporation (NASDAQ:SNDK) into question

by Josh Selway

Published on Feb 23, 2016 at 10:40 AM

Western Digital Corp (NASDAQ:WDC) is getting crushed this morning, dropping 4.5% to $44.03, after the data storage company announced it has lowered its buyout offer for SanDisk Corporation (NASDAQ:SNDK) to $15.8 billion, or $78.50 per share, from $19 billion. This comes after China-based Unisplendour pulled its $3.8 billion investment in Western Digital after it learned U.S. regulators were investigating the proposed move. WDC was already under pressure from one of its largest shareholders, Alken Asset Management, which believed the company was paying too much for SNDK.

Meanwhile, it looks like option traders may make out okay amid this price action. WDC's 10-day put/call volume ratio of 1.13 at the International Securities Exchange (ISE), Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX) outranks 76% of all readings from the past year, pointing toward an elevated interest in put buying of late. 

WDC has struggled on the charts, shedding roughly 27% in 2016 alone, and more headwinds could be in store. Specifically, 16 of 21 covering brokerage firms still rate the stock a "buy" or better, and its average 12-month price target of $73.54 stands at a 67% premium to current levels. 

As for SNDK, short-term speculators are more put-skewed than at any other point during the previous 12 months. This is according to the stock's Schaeffer's put/call open interest ratio (SOIR) of 2.38, an annual high. Shares of SanDisk Corporation (NASDAQ:SNDK) were last seen 1.7% lower at $66.56, and have now dropped 11.5% since Western Digital Corp (NASDAQ:WDC) announced the buyout in late October. 

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