In what has been a successful year for the semiconductor sector, Micron (MU) can be considered almost an outlier. While the coronavirus has acted as a springboard for many chipmakers, Micron has struggled in the face of lower enterprise demand, reduced IT spending and unfavorable macro conditions, such as the US ban on major customer Huawei.
However, over the past week Micron shares have been picking up steam, as the cyclical nature of the chip industry appears to be turning in its favor.
Deutsche Bank analyst Sidney Ho certainly thinks so. The latest industry reports lead the analyst to believe the DRAM market is on the cusp of a turnaround, which bodes well for Micron.
According to Ho, in contrast to the “multi -quarter correction” anticipated for the memory market in the summer, the latest industry checks indicate “DRAM demand has picked up in both mobile and server markets.”
In anticipation of market share gains, other Chinese OEMs have stepped into the Huawei shaped hole, while Apple has ramped up demand ahead of its iPhone 12 launch, with the need for higher memory content in 5G smartphones.
What this means is that CY20’s fourth quarter will “likely be the trough of this short cycle, with a potential to see some price increases in 1Q CY21, a.k.a. an inflection point.”
Expounding on the issue, the 5-star analyst said, “While we acknowledge that there are risks that the recent demand strength is driven by inventory accumulation, we nonetheless believe it will help lessen the seasonal soft demand in the first half of CY21. In addition, with DRAM suppliers showing willingness to cut back on capital spending, there is a belief among key smartphone and server OEMs that supply could tighten again in the second half of CY21, which should lead to price stabilization earlier that we previously expected. With the risk of significant estimate cuts substantially reduced, we believe the risk-reward is now skewed more positive, leading to our more constructive recommendation.”
The renewed optimism has resulted in an upgrade to Ho’s rating which moves from Hold to Buy. The price target gets a bump, too, and shifts from $51 to $60, which implies a 16% upside from current levels. (To watch Ho’s track record, click here)
Micron has decent backing among Ho’s colleagues. Based on 17 Buys, 6 Holds and 1 Sell, the analyst consensus rates the stock a Moderate Buy. Over the next 12 months, the Street estimates an 18.5% premium will be added to the share price, given the $61.48 average price target. (See Micron stock analysis on TipRanks)
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Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the featured analyst. The content is intended to be used for informational purposes only. It is very important to do your own analysis before making any investment.