Flash memory maker SanDisk Corp reported better-than-expected results and expressed cautious optimism about the current quarter, sending shares up 8 percent.

The company was helped by improved pricing on NAND flash memory from the previous quarter, when it was hurt by oversupply and falling demand for consumer electronics brought on by the global economic slowdown.

Industry fundamentals improved in the first quarter, said Chief Executive Eli Harari in a statement. We are encouraged that industry supply and demand balance is becoming better aligned, resulting in higher flash pricing.

Our outlook is cautiously optimistic for continued improvement in the second quarter.

The company reported a loss of $208 million, or 92 cents a share, for its first quarter, ended March 29, compared with a profit of $11 million, or 5 cents a share, in the year-ago period.

Excluding certain items, SanDisk lost $108 million, or 48 cents a share, ahead of the average analyst estimate for a loss of 77 cents a share, according to Reuters Estimates.

Revenue fell 22 percent to $659.1 million, versus analysts' estimate of $535 million.

In terms of the pricing trends, it was pretty much in line with what we expected, but they ... pushed more units through on the retail side then we had expected, said Oppenheimer analyst Gary Hsueh.

All in all it just goes to show you that end demand isn't really falling of a cliff in Q1, end demand is arguably hanging in there.

SanDisk is the No. 1 supplier of flash memory-based data storage cards.

The company's shares are up more than 20 percent over the past three months.

Shares of Milpitas, California-based SanDisk rose 10.5 percent to $15.25 in extended trading from their $13.71 close in the regular session on Nasdaq.

(Editing by Tim Dobbyn and Steve Orlofsky)