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Bull of the Day: Micron Technology (MU)


Micron has recently bounced back nicely after last month’s sell-off.  As analysts continue to raise their estimates ahead of its fiscal first quarter results, the stock could continue its positive momentum in the coming months.
 
Founded in 1978, Micron Technology (NASDAQ: MU) is a provider of advanced semiconductor solutions. They manufacture and market DRAM, NAND and NOR flash memory products which are used in computing, networking and server applications, as well as in mobile, consumer, automotive and industrial designs.
 
Micron reorganized its business units in the third quarter of 2014 into four reportable segments: Compute and Networking Business Unit, Storage Business Unit, Mobile Business Unit and Embedded Business Unit.
 
Headquartered in Boise, Idaho, Micron has several locations and about 20,000 employees worldwide.
 
Excellent Results & Positive Earnings Estimates Revisions

The company reported its fiscal Q4 results on September 25. Adjusted earnings for the quarter were $0.82 per share, in-line with the Zacks Consensus Estimate. Revenues increased 48.7% year-over-year to $4.23 billion, ahead of the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $4.17 billion, thanks mainly to favorable market conditions.
 
With strong top-line performance and favorable product mix, Micron’s gross profit increased to $1.39 billion from $708.0 million in the same quarter of 2013. Gross margin came in at 32.8% versus 24.9% in the previous year quarter.
 
For the first quarter of fiscal 2015, Micron expects revenues in the range of $4.45 to $4.7 billion.
 
After encouraging results and updated guidance, analysts have raised their estimates for Micron.  Zacks Consensus Estimates for the current and the next fiscal year are now $3.71 per share and $4.17 per share respectively from $3.65 per share and $4.08 per share, 60 days ago.
 
Rising estimates sent the stock to Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy).

 $1 Billion Buyback Program

 
Last month, the company announced a $1 billion share buyback authorization. The company had cash and short-term investments of $4.53 billion as of the end of last quarter. With strong cash flow generation, they are in a good position to return cash to their shareholders, after investing in their strategic growth initiatives.

Strong Focus on Growth and Profitability

The company has recently taken several initiatives to grow profitability. Further, the company is also positive about supply/demand balance for DRAM and NAND memory chips in 2015, which should support prices. Recent acquisition of Elpida will also help Micron’s gain share in the memory market. 

The Bottom Line

With its strong portfolio of high performance memory technologies, market leading position and solid focus on profitability, the stock is expected to continue its uptrend in the coming months.

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