SanDisk Posts a Big Miss

Investors take down shares after hours as tripled earnings aren't good enough.
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Updated from 8:49 a.m. EDT

SanDisk

(SNDK)

more than tripled its third-quarter earnings, but its results fell well shy of analysts' estimates and its own forecast.

Investors were punishing the stock Thursday morning. It recently fell $6.28, or 22.3%, to $21.92.

The flash-memory maker said after the bell Wednesday that it earned $54.1 million, or 29 cents a share, in its just-completed quarter. In the year-ago period, the company earned $14.8 million, or 9 cents a share.

The company's revenue jumped 45% to $408 million.

But those improvements were not as good as expected. On average, analysts surveyed by Thomson First Call were expecting the company to earn 34 cents a share in the quarter on $456.2 million in sales. SanDisk had previously predicted that it would post revenue ranging from $440 million to $460 million in the quarter.

The company blamed the shortfall on a faster-than-expected decline in prices that drove down revenue and profit margins.

In the current quarter, Wall Street expects SanDisk to earn 40 cents a share -- 41 cents a share excluding charges -- on $528.9 million in sales. The company projected that its revenue would top $500 million in the fourth quarter, but didn't immediately forecast earnings for the period.