Micron Stock Falls Despite Earnings Beat and Strong Demand for Memory Chips

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Shares of

Micron Technology

are down in after-hours trading despite a better-than-expected earnings report from the memory chip maker.

For the quarter ended June 3, Micron (ticker: MU) had revenue of $7.42 billion, up 36% from a year earlier and above the Wall Street consensus forecast of $7.23 billion. Micron originally projected revenue of $6.9 billion to $7.3 billion, though CEO Sanjay Mehrotra told investors in May that the total would likely be at or above the high end of the range. 

Micron had adjusted, non-GAAP profits of $1.88 a share, beating analysts’ forecast of $1.71 and the company’s own guidance of $1.62 a share. Non-GAAP gross margins were 42.9%, above guidance at 41.5%.

For the current August quarter, Micron sees revenue of $8.2 billion, give or take $200 million, which is ahead of the Street consensus at $7.9 billion. Micron projects non-GAAP profits for the quarter of $2.30 a share, give or take 10 cents, which beats Wall Street’s estimate of $2.18 a share.

Under generally accepted accounting principles, Micron expects $2.23 a share in earnings, also give or take 10 cents. The company expects non-GAAP gross margin in the quarter increasing to 47%, give or take a percentage point.

“Micron set multiple market and product revenue records in our third quarter and achieved the largest sequential earnings improvement in our history,” Mehrotra said in a statement. Net income in the quarter on a non-GAAP basis grew 93%, to $2.2 billion.

In remarks on the company’s earnings call, Mehrotra said the company expects DRAM and NAND memory chip supply to remain tight into calendar 2022. In materials prepared for the call, the company said it expects 2021 DRAM industry bit growth “somewhat above 20%,” with supply below demand.

Micron sees NAND bit demand growth in the mid-30% range, with supply again below demand. The company noted that DRAM was 73% of revenue in the latest quarter, up 52% from a year ago. NAND revenue was up 9%. Average prices were up 20% sequentially for DRAM in the quarter, with a high-single-digit increase in NAND prices.

Separately, Micron announced an agreement to sell its Lehi, Utah, chip production fab to

Texas Instruments

(TXN) for $900 million in cash. The company said it would generate another $600 million in value from tools and other assets. The company said it has sold some of those assets and will retain the rest to redeploy to other sites or to sell to other buyers.

Micron, which gained 2.3% to $84.83 in Wednesday’s regular session, is down 1.7% in after-hours trading.

Write to Eric J. Savitz at eric.savitz@barrons.com