* Supply growth moderating - SanDisk CEO
* Balance seen in 2011 after two years of supply shortages
SAN FRANCISCO Feb 24 SanDisk Corp SNDK.O
said NAND flash memory supply growth is moderating, and the
company sounded confident that the industry will remain in
balance amid strong demand.
Flash memory is a commodity product, and SanDisk's fortunes
are in large part determined by the equilibrium of supply and
demand in the industry and its impact on pricing.
The overall NAND flash market is expected to grow to
roughly $23 billion this year, from less that $20 billion last
SanDisk Chief Executive Sanjay Mehrotra said demand for
flash will increase by a factor of 10 by 2014, as consumers
clamor for smartphones and tablets like Apple's (AAPL.O) iPad,
which use flash for storage, as well as newer applications like
solid-state drives in personal computers.
Although more flash production capacity is coming online,
Mehrotra downplayed the risk that oversupply will hurt prices
"This is my key message regarding supply, that the outlook
for supply growth is moderating," Mehrotra said on Thursday at
SanDisk's annual meeting for financial analysts.
SanDisk's shares have risen 70 percent over the past year
as the NAND flash industry has seen relative price stability.
SanDisk is the No. 1 supplier of flash memory cards sold to
consumers at retail. But two-thirds of the company's sales now
come from manufacturers that embed flash in their devices.
Shares of Milpitas, California-based SanDisk were up 0.4
percent to $48.31 in early afternoon trading on Nasdaq.
(Reporting by Gabriel Madway; Editing by Tim Dobbyn)