Does Western Digital and STEC Merger Help OCZ Value and SSD Players?

OCZ Technology Group Inc. (NASDAQ: OCZ) is now too small for most investors to even bother with. What is different today, and perhaps ahead, is that Western Digital Corp. (NASDAQ: WDC) is acquiring STEC Inc. (NASDAQ: STEC) to get deeper into solid-state drives. OCZ designs solid-state drives (SSDs) and computer components that compete against the world of traditional hard drives.

In late-morning trading we have OCZ shares up 8% at $1.48, and shares hit a daily high of $1.59. The stock’s 52-week trading range is $1.11 to $7.67, and even after the gain today the market cap is a mere $100 million. Perhaps what stands out more than anything is that at more than 2.7 million shares it is already more than double the average daily volume.

It is hard to know if the new interest from Western Digital will translate to real interest elsewhere in SSDs. Historically you have seen efforts of Western Digital and Seagate Technology PLC (NASDAQ: STX) mirrored, and the two companies have close to a duopoly when it comes to traditional hard drives and a huge market share in external hard drives.

The move is causing negative reactions elsewhere. Hutchinson Technology Inc. (NASDAQ: HTCH) is in the design and development of suspension assemblies for hard disk drives, and the post-merger news is bringing some concerns about its future as the stock is down more than 6% at $5.01.