Given the big swings in Micron (NASDAQ:MU) stock over the past year or so, a fairly steep comedown after the recent rally from $34 to $40 wouldn’t be a surprise. A total collapse in MU stock would.
In the last year, MU has more than doubled, with a gain of 80% in 2017 alone. The ride hasn’t always been smooth, however. After nearly touching $29 in March, the stock dropped to $26 in April. A jump to $32 in June was followed by a pullback to $27 in July and August. And a September rally to $36 precipitated a brief, but quick, drop back to $34.
So, after kiting from $34 to $40 in a week, another correction is to be expected. In fact, it has already begun: Wednesday morning trading brought a 2.6% drop in the Micron share price.
Micron Stock Trend Is Clear
If you’re a day trader, the sizable (and frequent) fluctuations make MU a difficult stock to gauge. If you’re an intermediate- to long-term investor, however, the pattern is clear: Micron stock is going nowhere but up. The stock has been trending upward, in fact, since May 2016, which began with MU trading for a measly $9 per share. It has more than quadrupled in the 17 months since, despite the repeated pullbacks.
With an average return of 17% per month over that span, it wouldn’t be a stretch to think Micron stock could reach $50 by the time 2018 rolls around. I know, I know — past performance is not indicative of future returns. But high growth and a low valuation are and MU has both.
The chipmaker grew sales by 90% in its most recent quarter, its second straight quarter of at least 90% top-line growth and its fourth consecutive quarter of double-digit sales growth. Better yet, the company turned a profit of $2.02 per share, light years ahead of the penny-per-share loss in the same quarter a year ago.
Analysts foresee $2.14 EPS in the current quarter, on 60% sales growth. For fiscal 2018 (which, for Micron, began in September), the company is expected to grow EPS another 52%.
Despite such a gaudy earnings forecast, the stock trades at less than six times forward earnings estimates even after the recent jump from $34 to $40. Translation: for all its top- and bottom-line growth, Micron stock is still grossly undervalued.
Buy MU on the Dips
With demand for its signature DRAM and NAND memory-chip products accelerating, the company has been able to increase sales volume while simultaneously raising prices — hence the improved earnings and wider margins. Until that demand wanes, Micron should continue to prosper.
Micron’s volatility — MU has a beta of nearly 2, higher than chip-making competitors Nvidia (NASDAQ:NVDA) and Applied Materials (NASDAQ:AMAT) — is a reflection of Wall Street’s uncertainty concerning the stock. As the company becomes more consistent in its profit growth, investors will continue to show their trust by pumping up the stock price to a level that’s more in line with its earnings estimates.
Bottom line: After rallying for nearly a full year and a half, continuing to doubt MU’s staying power would be a mistake. With the stock going through one of its predictable post-rally corrections, now is the time to add Micron to your portfolio.
As of this writing, Chris Fraley did not hold a position in any of the aforementioned securities.
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