Shares of flash-memory giant SanDisk (Nasdaq: SNDK) fell more than 15 percent in early trading after the company reported first-quarter results far worse than expected.

SanDisk shares plunged to $34.91, down 14 percent, after 10 minutes of trading in part because the Milpitas, Calif.-based company projected a lower-than-expected second quarter forecast. They closed at $35.91, down $4.56, or 11.3 percent.

The company reported first-quarter income slid 45 percent to $114 million, or 46 cents a share, as revenue fell 7 percent to $1.21 billion from the year-earlier quarter. But that was 24 percent from the fourth quarter.

SanDisk is a pioneer in the development of the credit-card like mass storage card now ubiquitous in cameras, smartphones and laptops. They largely replaced more cumbersome disk drives that were bigger and consumed power.

CEO Sanjoy Mehrotra said the company was adversely impacted by lower prices and weakness in the sector.

At Jeffries, analyst Sundeep Bajikar cut his target price for SanDisk to $45 from $56, keeping his rating at Hold.

Friday's collapse shaved SanDisk's market value to $8.7 billion.