UPDATE 2-SanDisk results top estimates, stock higher
SAN FRANCISCO, Jan 23 (Reuters) - Chipmaker SanDisk Corp's quarterly results topped analysts' expectations, boosting its stock by 1.8 percent as investors looked for signs of recovery in NAND chip prices.
Like other memory chipmakers, SanDisk has been hurt in recent quarters by a drop in prices for NAND flash chips used in smartphones, cameras, storage drives and tablets to store data such as movies and photos.
Some analysts have recently cited indications that NAND prices are stabilizing after Japanese chipmaker Toshiba scaled back production last year.
"We think we're still better than seasonal in pricing because there's no new supply coming on line. That's the key metric. Demand will take care of itself," said Kevin Cassidy, an analyst at Stifel Nicolaus.
In its earnings report on Wednesday, SanDisk said its growing solid-state drive business accounted for 10 percent of fourth-quarter revenue.
Sales of solid-state drives, which store data on flash chips and are faster than conventional hard drives, are growing quickly with their inclusion in Ultrabook thin laptops being promoted by Intel Corp and PC makers.
SanDisk earned $214 million, or 87 cents per share, in the December quarter, compared to $281 million, or $1.14 per share, in the year-ago period.
Revenue fell 2 percent over the year to $1.54 billion.
Analysts on average were expecting revenue of $1.526 billion, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
Excluding items, it earned $1.05 a share. Analysts had expected earnings of 76 cents a share.
The company's shares rose 1.78 percent to $48.50 in extended trade, after closing down 0.63 percent on Nasdaq.