And the Award for Most Appalling Earnings Performance in a Recession Goes to…
SanDisk CEO Eli Harari says the company is “very disappointed” with its fourth-quarter bottom-line results, which doesn’t even begin to describe the way the company’s investors must be feeling right now. They had expected the flash memory card maker to report a fourth-quarter net loss of 60 cents a share on revenue of $766.7 million. Instead, the company reported an adjusted net loss of $1.65 a share.
And thank God for that adjustment. Because without it, SanDisk’s Q4 loss weighed in at a porcine $1.86 billion, or $8.25 a share, thanks to a $1.02 billion pretax goodwill and intangible asset impairment charge.
Suffice to say, SanDisk (SNDK) isn’t optimistic about its prospects in the months ahead. “First Quarter and 2009 visibility continues to be poor as seasonally soft demand is being aggravated the global recession,” Harari said in an earnings release. “With dismal Q4 and 2008 results reported by all Flash competitors, the Flash industry is at a crossroads. Three consecutive years of price reductions exceeding cost reductions have squeezed profitability out of this industry, even for the most competitive suppliers and this has been exacerbated by the global economic recession. Although 2009 is shaping up to be another tough year, we are very encouraged by the deep production cuts by the industry that we see as leading to the return of balanced demand and supply and improved pricing environment and much healthier growth for the survivors in 2010 and beyond.”
Key word here being “survivors.”