Western Digital reported better revenue driven ny good sales of their 18TB hard disks. Disk revenue was so good it actually earned more than flash memory.

  • Fourth quarter revenue was $4.9 billion, up 15% year-over-year (YoY). Client Devices revenue increased 13%, Data Center Devices and Solutions revenue increased 6%, and Client Solutions revenue increased 42% YoY. Fiscal year 2021 revenue was $16.9 billion, up 1% YoY.
  • Fourth quarter GAAP earnings per share (EPS) was $1.97 and non-GAAP EPS was $2.16. Fiscal year 2021 GAAP EPS was $2.66 and non-GAAP EPS was $4.55.
  • Generated operating cash flow of $994 million and free cash flow of $792 million in the fourth quarter. Generated operating cash flow of $1.9 billion and free cash flow of $1.1 billion in fiscal year 2021.
  • Expecting fiscal first quarter 2022 revenue to be in the range of $4.90 billion to $5.10 billion with non-GAAP EPS in the range of $2.25 to $2.55.

Some estimate that $200 billion in hard disks were sold to Chia miners. Chia miners I know are reporting income has slowed substantially with even an 8TB hard disk needing over 2 years to win suggests that even with a few servers of hard disks is not covering costs. 1PB can earn about $2.55 per hour which does not even cover the power to operate the servers let alone the capital costs.

In Data Center Devices & Solutions, Western Digital achieved a record shipment of over 104 exabytes in capacity enterprise hard drives, highlighting the importance of these products to datacenter customers. The 18-terabyte energy-assisted hard drive was the leading capacity point and comprised nearly half of Western Digital’s capacity enterprise shipments. Enterprise SSD demand strengthened as the company completed a qualification at another cloud titan and is now ramping the product more broadly.

WD has been trying to ramp up consumer flash memory but the market is very competitive. Hard disks are still the bread and butter for the company. Now that WD has began to launch heat assisted media it’s only a matter of time before the technology finds it way into consumer rigs.

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