NEW YORK (AP) -- Shares of Micron Technology fluctuated in premarket trading Thursday after topping expectations for the third quarter, with company shares already trading at five-year highs.
A trio of Wall Street analysts backed their top ratings for shares, pointing to the chipmaker's potential for growth.
The Boise, Idaho, company makes dynamic random access memory items, used in personal computers and NAND flash memory products in digital devices and smartphones. Late Wednesday, Micron posted a bigger third-quarter profit than was expected, thanks to better pricing and revenue.
Micron CEO Mark Durcan also said that there has been progress in landing the approvals it needs to acquire Japanese chipmaker Elpida Memory Inc. He believes the deal will close in the fourth quarter.
Analysts for Citi, Sterne Agee and Jefferies all backed "Buy" ratings for Micron, but shares were very volatile in early trading, ranging from declines of 8 percent to an increase of 3 percent.
Citi analyst Glen Yeung said that while some investors may choose to take advantage of the more than doubling of Micron's stock price since the start of this year and sell their shares on the news, he expects the stock to continue to rise.
Yeung, who backed his $19 price target, was encouraged by the company's expectation that the Elpida deal will close by the end of the fiscal year.
Sterne Agee's Vijay Rakesh, who increased his price target by $2, to $17, said that limited chip supply combined with improving demand for them from personal computer, smartphone, gaming and tablet makers will result in continued stable pricing and better profitability in the second half of 2013.
Shares of Micron Technology Inc. fell 37 cents to $13.60 in morning trading.
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