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(Bloomberg Opinion) -- A crown jewel of President Xi Jinping’s Made in China 2025 plan is faltering.Tsinghua Unigroup Co. is the business arm of the prestigious Tsinghua University, Xi’s alma mater. The company has been trying to establish itself as a leader in China’s nascent memory-chip industry since 2015, when it famously tried to acquire stakes in U.S. rivals Micron Technology Inc. and Western Digital Corp. Both advances were rejected amid concerns that U.S. regulators wouldn’t approve the deals on national-security grounds. Rebuffed abroad, Unigroup resolved to become a domestic champion and poured its resources into developing flash-memory technology. One of its subsidiaries, three-year-old Yangtze Memory Technologies Co., is already bringing its know-how to production. It’s impressive how fast the unit has developed despite lagging behind rivals in efficiency, Bernstein Research notes.Yet credit investors are getting nervous: Unigroup’s dollar bond due in 2023 has tumbled in recent days, and is now yielding more than 10%. Last week, the chipmaker hurriedly arranged a conference call to reassure investors that its finances were in good order. Surely an asset of such national strategic importance shouldn’t be trading like a junk-rated firm bordering on bankruptcy, management reasoned. A big question hanging over Unigroup is: Who’s its real daddy? As part of China’s university reform, which aims to separate academic institutions from business endeavors, Unigroup’s controlling shareholder Tsinghua Holdings Corp. has attempted to disentangle itself from the company multiple times. The latest rout comes amid a protracted custody battle.Naturally, debtholders shudder every time speculation swirls about Unigroup’s ownership. Last year, its bonds tanked after Tsinghua agreed to sell its shares to an obscure state-owned entity in the second-tier city of Suzhou, only to recover a month later when the university opted for the cash-rich Shenzhen government instead. The bonds plummeted yet again in recent months when Tsinghua abandoned the Shenzhen deal. Then in a conference call last week, Zhao Weiguo, the holding company’s chairman, said Unigroup should remain under the Tsinghua University umbrella, making multiple references to the wishes of the “paramount leader.” For anyone in doubt, that’s Xi.Figuring out who’s holding the purse strings is particularly important for Unigroup, because like all chipmakers it needs billions of dollars in capital outlays. Industry leader Samsung Electronics Co., for example, splashed out about $25 billion annually in capital expenditure over the past five years. Yangtze Memory, Unigroup’s flash-memory business, has already spent more than 20 billion yuan ($2.86 billion) on a new plant in Wuhan and earmarked $30 billion in total spending there. The key difference is that, unlike Samsung, the Yangtze subsidiary is behind on technology and unlikely to break even until 2022 at the earliest, estimates Barclays Plc. Money has to come from the outside. Sure, Unigroup is getting financial support from China’s various venture-capital-like guidance funds and has a big credit line from China Development Bank. But investors worry that’s not enough. Obscure state-owned entities, and even Tsinghua University itself, don’t have pockets deep enough to bankroll Unigroup as it ramps up production, they wager. Revenue at Unigroup rose 7.5% from a year earlier in the first half, but its Ebitda earnings tumbled 27% to a peanut-sized 1.5 billion yuan, driven by a sharp increase in research expenses. As of June, the company sat on 39 billion yuan of cash but had 58 billion yuan of interest-bearing debt due in the year ahead. By now, conspiracy theories abound explaining Tsinghua's decision to scrap its deal with Shenzhen, often considered China’s Silicon Valley. One explanation could be ego: Why would Xi allow his alma mater’s prized asset to be controlled by a mere local state-owned entity?Investors also question whether geopolitics is at play. If Tsinghua offloaded its stake to Shenzhen, Unigroup would become a bona fide state owned enterprise, making it vulnerable to operations restrictions — from intellectual property transfer to preferential taxation — if China strikes a broader trade deal with the U.S. If Unigroup remains under the umbrella of a non-profit university, on the other hand, it could still develop its chip capacity within a gray zone. The naive might argue that Beijing can’t possibly let Unigroup go under. That may well be the case; but as I’ve written, an unhealthy undercurrent is forming in China’s bond market. Increasingly, distressed companies are pushing for quiet deals with institutional investors to delay repayment dates. This is perhaps why investors got even more nervous when news surfaced that Unigroup had asked Credit Suisse Group AG for its help to amend and extend some bank loans. Pinched by the trade war, China is now eager to become self-sufficient, and semiconductors are certainly a good place to start. Last year, China’s trade deficit in chips continued to widen to $228 billion, more than double levels from a decade earlier. But if you think Tsinghua Unigroup will emerge a clear winner from this, think again. As we’ve seen in the past, national service doesn’t necessarily get you a glittering credit score, with local government financing vehicles and regional banks alike now languishing with junk ratings. Unigroup investors would do well to remember that they can't take Xi’s school spirit to the bank. To contact the author of this story: Shuli Ren at firstname.lastname@example.orgTo contact the editor responsible for this story: Rachel Rosenthal at email@example.comThis column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the editorial board or Bloomberg LP and its owners.Shuli Ren is a Bloomberg Opinion columnist covering Asian markets. She previously wrote on markets for Barron's, following a career as an investment banker, and is a CFA charterholder.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com/opinion©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
News Highlights Micron’s new QLC-based i300 1TB industrial microSD card is the industry’s highest-capacity card and can store more than three months of video footage in the.
Investing.com – Micron (NASDAQ:MU) is up about 50% for the year, but UBS cut its outlook on the chipmaker Friday amid worries that falling memory prices are likely to keep a lid on growth.
Micron Technology, Inc. (NASDAQ: MU) shares are up 2.5% Thursday as the debate rages on on Wall Street as to whether or not the semiconductor industry has hit the bottom of the current market cycle. On Thursday, Benzinga Pro subscribers received eight option alerts related to unusually large trades of Micron options. At 9:49 a.m., a trader bought 1,080 Micron put options with a $45 strike price expiring on April 17, 2020 near the ask price at $3.60.
Nvidia stock is up 35% in the past three months as Wall Street continues to jump back in the previously high-flying chip stock. So is now the time for investors to buy Nvidia stock?
The technology sector is made up of companies that, among other things, manufacture consumer electronics and their components, develop software, and provide information technology (IT) services like cloud hosting.
The larger debate among analysts and other observers: whether the semiconductor industry has bottomed in a down cycle or still has some distance to go.
Sanjay Mehrotra has been the CEO of Micron Technology, Inc. (NASDAQ:MU) since 2017. This report will, first, examine...
Micron's shares have risen because of hope that the U.S./China trade negotiations will be resolved favorably. -- Last week the SIA reported that September total semiconductor revenues rose to $38.4 billion (+8.3% month over month). September semiconductor revenues (excluding memory) was +8.8% - well below the seasonal average of +12.2%.
Investing.com – Marvell Technology surged on Monday as Wells Fargo (NYSE:WFC) upgraded its outlook on the chipmaker, betting that the revival in data center spending and the rollout of 5G-enabled phones would boost chip sales.
This has been a good year for investors in Micron Technology (NASDAQ:MU). Year-to date, Micron stock is up more than 50%.Source: Valeriya Zankovych / Shutterstock.com On Sep. 26, the company reported earnings results for the fourth quarter as well as the full year of fiscal 2019.As we get ready to wrap up another earnings season, Micron shareholders are now wondering if the stock price may go over $50 in the coming weeks. I do not expect the MU stock price to get a leg up soon. Rather it is likely to stay range-bound in the near future, possibly until its next earnings release expected in December. Here is why.InvestorPlace - Stock Market News, Stock Advice & Trading Tips MU Stock Has Two Main ProductsMicron produces semiconductor devices, computer memory and computer data storage, including dynamic random-access memory (DRAM), NAND flash memory and USB flash drives for different end markets. * 7 Stocks to Buy in November In terms of performance by product line, Wall Street analyzes Micron's results for two main products: DRAM and NAND.DRAM is used for primary system memory. It is widely found in digital electronics where low-cost and high-capacity memory is required.NAND flash memory is used for storage. Flash memory is a computer storage medium that can be electrically erased and reprogrammed. NAND forms the core of the removable USB flash drives.About two-thirds of Micron's revenue comes from sales of DRAM while another third comes from NAND flash as well as NOR and 3D XPoint. The DRAM market is bigger than NAND and has fewer manufacturers or competition for Micron. Profit margins are also higher in DRAM.After the end of fiscal 2018, management stopped reporting gross margins for individual products. In Q4 FY2018's earnings report, DRAM gross margin was 71% of revenue while NAND gross margin was 48%. In other words, the DRAM market is at this point more important for Micron stock. Micron Stock Q4 EarningsWhen it reported earlier in September, Micron stock beat on revenue and EPS. Revenue came at actual $4.87 billion; consensus had been $4.56 billion.Despite this beat, revenue was down 42% compared to the prior-year period and net income fell 87% YoY.The initial market reaction was sharply negative as Micron was down more than 10% the next day. In fact, it was the largest one-day declines in the company's share price and value in recent years.This decline might have been in part due to management's forecast EPS for the next quarter which came in a range of 39-53 cents. Analysts were expecting it at 47 cents.In 2018, the memory market had an oversupply and prices declined. For Micron stock, DRAM revenue suffered a big drop, with a decline of about 28% YoY from 2018 to 2019.As a result, the MU stock price suffered considerably. On Dec. 26, 2018, Micron's share price hit an annual low of $28.39. Therefore, investors are still quite nervous about the market outlook for MU products. And Wall Street is not yet expecting DRAM prices to recover fully or for the margins to improve, either. Different End Users for Micron ProductsMicron reports revenue in four units, corresponding to the end markets it serves: * Compute and Networking Business (CNBU) with about 50% share of revenue * Mobile Business (MBU) with about 2% share of revenue * Storage Business (SBU) with about 17% share of revenue * Embedded Business (EBU) with 11% share of revenueIn short, Micron's products can be found in data-center servers including the cloud, mobile devices, automotive, industrial, and consumer markets.Investors who plan to invest in MU stock long term may want to consider the trends in the semiconductor industry. That way, they have a better understanding of growth opportunities as well as threats for Micron stock and the competition.For example, especially in the first half of the year, many analysts have been concerned about the low memory price. This has a direct effect on Micron's revenue pie and hence, Micron stock. The other component of revenue is volume. And Wall Street has been discussing excess inventory levels and lower demand in DRAM and NAND for some time now.The prolonged U.S.-China trade war is also on the minds of investors. That's because over 55% of Micron's sales come from China. Where MU Stock Price Is NowHowever, it is not all doom and gloom for MU stock. For example, on June 25, Micron reported Q3 earnings that came in better than expected. The next day, the shares gapped up and opened at $35.87. Micron stock has not looked back since then.Investors have also been anticipating a memory-chip price recovery and a resolution to the U.S.-China trade wars. Of particular importance is Huawei, as about 13% of Micron's sales are to the Chinese company, which has been at the center of trade war issues.In July came an upgrade which gave MU stock another boost, easily pushing it over $45. On Sep. 11, Micron stock saw a 52-week high of $51.39. However, the negative reaction to the Q4 earnings result has disrupted the uptrend.Since then MU share price has been volatile and is currently hovering around $47.50. Therefore, I am expecting some short-term choppiness and potential profit-taking in Micron stock in the coming weeks, possibly until when it reports in December.Meanwhile, I expect Micron stock to trade in a range, most likely between $42.5 and $47.5 a share.If you're an investor who also follows technical analysis, then you should know that shorter-term charts imply that MU is likely to take a breather. Such a potential pullback would enable long-term investors to buy on the dips.Meanwhile, if you already own Micron stock, you may either consider taking some money off the table during this market bounce or hedging your positions.As for hedging strategies, covered calls or put spreads with Jan. 17 expiry could be appropriate as straight put purchases are likely to be expensive due to heightened volatility.A hedged position would give investors breathing space in case MU stock declined. Such a covered call would also enable investors to participate in any up move in MU stock price. In the meantime, they can decide on the best course of action for their portfolios, with less anxiety than an unhedged investor. The Bottom Line on Micron StockThe semiconductor industry is cyclical. It is never easy to know whether the downside of a given cycle might take longer than previously expected. Also, the current economic and political environment in the U.S. and globally offers plenty of questions.Despite company-specific fundamentals, the semiconductor stocks are all in the same boat. And what affects one stock is likely to affect its peers, too. Therefore those investors who want to see how the broader index is trending may also want to keep an eye on the iShares PHLX Semiconductor ETF (NASDAQ:SOXX).Over the long term, I would not bet against Micron stock. In the short-term, though, the share price of the chip company is likely to be choppy. Considering how far shares have gone in 2019, many investors may decide to wait until the next earnings report.As of this writing, the author did not hold a position in any of the aforementioned securities. More From InvestorPlace * 2 Toxic Pot Stocks You Should Avoid * 7 Buy-and-Hold Stocks to Play Investing's Biggest Trends * 7 Stocks to Buy in November * 5 Strong Buy Stocks Under $5 With Massive Upside Potential The post Micron Stock Has Some Profit-Taking and Maybe a Dip Coming appeared first on InvestorPlace.
BOISE, Idaho, Oct. 29, 2019 -- Micron Technology Chief Financial Officer David Zinsner will participate in a fireside chat at the Bernstein Technology Innovation Summit in New.
Announcement of Periodic Review: Moody's announces completion of a periodic review of ratings of Micron Technology, Inc. New York, October 29, 2019 -- Moody's Investors Service ("Moody's") has completed a periodic review of the ratings of Micron Technology, Inc. and other ratings that are associated with the same analytical unit. The review was conducted through a portfolio review in which Moody's reassessed the appropriateness of the ratings in the context of the relevant principal methodology(ies), recent developments, and a comparison of the financial and operating profile to similarly rated peers.
Mixed signals from the companies that make core internal components of tech hardware — memory chips and storage devices — are fueling expectations for another sluggish third quarter for much of the tech, with the exception of the internet and social media giants.
Micron stock has returned 28.1% over the past year. This shows that the company is matching the US semiconductor industry gain of 28.3%.