Ahead of the Bell: SanDisk up in premarket trading

NEW YORK -- Shares of SanDisk Corp. advanced in premarket trading Friday after the maker of flash-memory chips posted stronger-than-expected results for the third quarter.

SanDisk's earnings and revenue declined due to lower demand for its memory chips from gadget makers. But the company said it is gaining market share from competitors. Adjusted earnings of 48 cents per share were well above analysts' expectations of 33 cents.

RBC Capital Markets analyst Doug Freedman said the company is benefiting as more of its products go into Apple's popular devices, as well as from market share gains and cost reductions. He rates SanDisk "Outperform."

Sterne Agee analyst Vijay Rakesh raised his target price by a $1 to $51. He called SanDisk's $1.5 billion revenue guidance for the fourth quarter "conservative" because the company could see more demand from the iPhone and from upcoming products such as Apple's rumored mini iPad and Microsoft's Surface tablets.

SanDisk, based in Milpitas, Calif., makes flash-memory chips used in removable USB flash drives and digital media players, solid-state drives used in computers and other high-tech chips. Its products are also found in phones and cameras.

Shares rose $3.54, or 8.3 percent, to $46.40 before the opening bell Friday. The stock is down 13 percent this year.