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About Western Digital Corporation

Western Digital is a leading developer, manufacturer, and provider of data storage devices and solutions that address the evolving needs of information technology ("IT") and the infrastructure that enables the proliferation of data in virtually every industry. The company makes hard-disk drives (HDDs), which record, store, and recall volumes of data, and fast-growing solid-state drives (SSDs), known as flash drives, used in many mobile devices. Drives for PCs account for a major portion of Western Digital's sales, although the company also makes devices used in servers, cloud computing data centers, and home entertainment products such as set-top boxes and video game consoles as well as mobile phones. The company sells to manufacturers, retailers, and distributors and generates around half of sales from the Asia/Pacific region.

Operations

Western Digital reports its sales in terms of end markets. The company's biggest market, nearly 45% of sales, is client devices such as PCs, smartphones, gaming gadgets, and security equipment. Data center devices, capacity and performance enterprise HDDs, enterprise SSDs, data center software, and systems, account for more than 35% of sales, and client solutions, which are removable products, hard drive content devices, and flash content devices, generate about 20% of sales.

The company markets its products primarily under the Western Digital, G-Technology, SanDisk, and WD brands.

Sales of HDD products account for about 55% of revenue and flash-based products account for the rest.

Geographic Reach

Headquartered in San Jose, California, Western Digital's largest market is Asia, where most electronics are produced. China alone accounts for about a quarter of sales and Hong Kong accounts for around 15%. The US supplies nearly 30% of revenue, while the EMEA region accounts for over 15%.

Western Digital has manufacturing facilities in the US, as well as in China, Japan, Malaysia, the Philippines, and Thailand; it has sales offices worldwide. The company's research and development facilities are in the US, Malaysia, Thailand, India, and Israel.

Sales and Marketing

Western Digital sells to OEMs, as well as through distributors and retailers. The company's 10 biggest customers account for more than 40% of revenue. The company relies heavily on one customer: Kingston Technology Company, which accounts for some 10% of Western Digital's accounts receivable.

The company's advertising costs were $93 million, $107 million and $112 million in 2020, 2019 and 2018, respectively.

Financial Performance

Western Digital's revenue has had a bumpy path over the past five years, capped by a steep decline in 2019 from 2018.

The company's sales rose about 1% from $16.6 billion in 2019 to $16.7 billion in 2020. The increase was primarily due to lower sales volume in client devices and client solutions segments.

The company suffered another net loss ($250 million) in 2020, but it has undoubtedly improved from the previous year ($754 million). This was primarily due to a higher operating income and lower income tax.

Western Digital posted a loss of $724 million in 2019 compared to a profit of $675 million in 2018. While the company had lower costs in 2018, they were higher as a percentage of revenue than in 2018, resulting in the net loss.

The company had about $3 billion in cash and equivalents in 2020 compared to $3.5 billion the year before. In 2020, cash from operations generated $824 million and investing activities provided $278 million. Financing activities used $1.5 billion. Main cash uses in 2020 were for dividends paid, debt repayment.

Western Digital has over $10.2 billion in debt in 2020, an amount that could have a negative impact on its liquidity, restrict its operations and ability to react to business changes, and increase its vulnerability to industry and economic slowdowns.

Strategy

Western Digital's overall strategy is to leverage its technology, innovation, and execution capabilities to be an industry-leading and broad-based developer, manufacturer, and provider of storage devices and solutions that support the infrastructure that has enabled the unabated proliferation of data. The company believes that it is the only company in the world with large-scale capabilities to develop and manufacture a portfolio of integrated data storage solutions that are based on both rotating magnetic and flash memory technologies. Western Digital strives to successfully execute its strategy through the following foundational elements to deliver the best outcome for customers, partners, investors, and employees:

Technology Leadership: The company continues to innovate and develop advanced technologies across platforms for both HDD and flash to deliver timely new products and solutions to meet growing demands for scale, performance, and cost - efficiency in the market.

Broad Product Portfolio: Western Digital leverages its capabilities in firmware, software, and systems in both HDD and flash to deliver compelling and differentiated integrated storage solutions to customers that offer the best combinations of performance, cost, power consumption, form factor, quality, and reliability while creating new use cases for solutions in emerging markets.

Operational Excellence: It is focused on delivering the best value for its customers in the data center, client, and consumer markets through a relentless focus on appropriately scaling its operations across both HDD and flash technologies to efficiently support business growth, achieving best in class cost, quality and cycle-time, maintaining industry leading manufacturing capabilities and having a competitive advantage in supply-chain management.

Mergers and Acquisitions

Western Digital has long used acquisitions to add new product lines and extend its geographic reach.

In late 2019 Western Digital acquired Kazan Networks, a provider of technology for data centers, to expand its data infrastructure offerings. Kazan's technologies widened Western Digital's products for disaggregated data infrastructure and helped speed its use of non-volatile memory express (NVMe) platforms. The purchase price of this acquisition was $22 million in cash, with net assets acquired primarily consisting of IPR&D of $8 million and $14 million allocated to Goodwill.

Western Digital Corporation

5601 Great Oaks Pkwy
San Jose, CA 95119-1003
Phone: 1 (408) 717-6000

Firm Stats

Employer Type: Publicly Owned
Stock Symbol: WDC
Stock Exchange: , NASDAQ
President and COO: Michael D. Cordano
Chairman: Matthew E. Massengill
President and CEO: Stephen D. Milligan
Employees (This Location): 1,158
Employees (All Locations): 63,800

Major Office Locations

San Jose, CA

Other Locations

Chandler, AZ
Fremont, CA
Irvine, CA
Milpitas, CA
San Jose, CA
Sunnyvale, CA
Longmont, CO
Boca Raton, FL
Chicago, IL
Rochester, MN
Bellevue, NE
Princeton, NJ
Cleveland, OH
Austin, TX
Houston, TX
Gladstone, VA
Herndon, VA
Bengaluru, India
Odawara, Japan
Shinagawa-Ku, Japan
Yokkaichi, Japan
Yokohama, Japan