SanDisk (NSDQ: SNDK) tried to take care of a lot of different business with Monday's earnings report and call, including announcing aggressive cost cutting, but it all came down to trying to show that the company is on the right track as it deals with an unwanted offer of $26 per share from Samsung. SanDisk chairman and CEO Eli Harari told analysts he wouldn't take questions on the offer and that the company remains "open-minded" to a deal at the "right price" and the "right protections" but that it has not heard from Samsung since the offer. Harari (via transcript from Seeking Alpha: "Our board strongly believes that Samsung's indication of interest significantly undervalues SanDisk, both in the absolute and in light of the synergies and the value of our IP to Samsung." Emphasis on the IP, "the hundreds of second generation patents for mobile storage that we developed in-house or acquired in the past decade. These second generation patents extend well into the next decade, and therefore the intrinsic value to Samsung is highly strategic and long-term."
So where do all the consumer media efforts from SanDisk fit in, such as its new slotMusic and the like? Not very high in priority given the lack of play during the call. Not a single direct analyst question and the barest of mentions by Harari.
-- Q3 earnings illustrate company conundrum: It sold 44 percent more megabytes of storage but revenue was flat sequentially because the retail costs dropped. CFO Judy Bruner said the company priced "more aggressively than we had planned in order to move inventory and maintain our market share." Year over year, product revenue is down 25 percent, while the amount of storage being sold continues to soar.
-- Mobile is the future: SanDisk is banking on the explosion in mobile devices with micro-SD slots and higher capacity per cardit's averaging about 3 gigs per card now as consumers store increasing amounts of media.
By Staci D. Kramer