Shares of memory-chip maker Micron Technology (NASDAQ: MU) rose as much as 10.2% today, sticking close to that peak reading at 3:40 p.m. EDT. Stockholders can thank Micron's solid second-quarter report for this boost.
In the second quarter of fiscal year 2019, Micron saw revenue fall 21% year over year to $5.84 billion. On the bottom line, adjusted earnings fell 39% to land at $1.71 per share. Your average Wall Street analyst would have settled for earnings near $1.67 per share on sales in the neighborhood of $5.82 billion.
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Micron delivered these results despite plunging street prices on both DRAM and NAND chips. The company delivered five times as many NAND memory bits year over year in its managed long-term supply contracts with major device builders, according to management's comments in the earnings call. And CEO Sanjay Mehrotra can see the end of the current pricing downturn before the end of 2019.
"Although fiscal Q2 pricing came in below our expectations, we are optimistic that demand elasticity and seasonal trends will support improving demand growth in the second half of the calendar year," Mehrotra said. "We are taking prudent actions to address the current market conditions while executing well on our long-term strategic objectives."
The market recovery looks a bit uneven, with chip prices stabilizing faster in the NAND market than in the DRAM sector, but both of these pricing trends should turn back up again in relatively short order. Reduced production targets over the next quarter or two should help Micron push those prices back on track.
We Micron shareholders are still looking at a 33% price drop over the last 52 weeks, even after today's sudden improvement. It's no surprise to see Micron's stock rising quickly on these solid results and optimistic calendar-year projections, but there's still a lot of value left to rebuild here. Micron's stock trades at just 3.3 times trailing earnings or 4.9 times free cash flows at this point.
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