Brean Capital top analyst Mike Burton is bullish on Micron Technology, Inc. (NASDAQ:MU) after the chip giant delivered “on both top and bottom line in a high expectation environment” for its first fiscal quarter print of 2017. On the heels of MU’s earnings beat, the analyst reiterates a Buy rating on MU while boosting the price target from $25 to $28, which represents a just under 20% increase from where the shares last closed.
As follows with back-to-back quarters of high expectations, this quarter was no different. Yet, the chip giant this time did one better, delivering not only robust top-line results, but with fiscal first quarter results that are a testament that MU can also deliver strong on the bottom line. For Burton, this proves “the company’s strong leverage in the quarter” that lead to an EPS beat that outperformed the Street by $0.04, which he notes follows the company’s positive pre-announcement. Moreover, for the second fiscal quarter, guidance for revenue as well as EPS outclassed the Street’s expectations.
In its first fiscal quarter of the year, the giant brought in $3.97 billion in revenue, hitting ahead of the mid-point of MU’s pre-announced revenue of $3.94 billion as well as beating consensus expectations of $3.80 billion.
The analyst notes, “Revenue grew an impressive 23% Q/Q due to positive bit growth in DRAM, which expanded 18% Q/Q and Non-Volatile bit growth (includes NAND and 3D XPoint) which advanced 26% Q/Q. ASPs were also favorable in the quarter as DRAM ASPs increased 5% and Non-Volatile ASPs were flat.”
“We continue to like MU since it is in the midst of a positive cycle in the DRAM and NAND markets. We believe Industry-wide cuts to DRAM CAPEX in 2016 will deliver a favorable supply demand balance through at least the 1H17 and that its improved position in non-volatile memories (3D NAND and XPoint) will help contribute to its earnings power going forward. We believe that MU’s cost cutting internal priorities are still on track and that the supply/demand picture in its end markets look favorable through the 1H of 2017,” Burton concludes.
Moving forward, the analyst sees MU in an excellent position with stellar fundamentals setting the giant up for a 2017 of even more growth and enhanced DRAM and NAND. MU management has guided revenue to $4.35 to $4.70 billion, with a midpoint of $4.5 billion that solidly reaches ahead of consensus of $3.83 billion. In estimated non-GAAP EPS, the company calls for $0.58 to $0.68, compared to the Street’s projection of $0.36.
In reaction, the analyst raises his GAAP revenue from $3.801 billion to $4.53 billion and earnings forecast from $0.31 to $0.64. For the fiscal year of 2017, Burton calls for non-GAAP revenue of $17.93 billion and earnings of $2.56, compared to his prior expectations of $16.43 billion and $1.74, respectively. For the fiscal year of 2018, the analyst raises his non-GAAP revenue estimate from $17.80 billion to $18.92 billion and earnings projection from $2.64 to $3.15.
As usual, we like to include the analyst’s track record when reporting on new analyst notes to give a perspective on the effect it has on stock performance. According to TipRanks, top five-star analyst Mike Burton has achieved a high ranking of #76 out of 4,286 analysts. Burton upholds a 68% success rate and realizes 13.5% in his yearly returns. When recommending MU, Burton yields 60.3% in average profits on the stock.
TipRanks analytics demonstrate MU as a Strong Buy. Based on 24 analysts polled by TipRanks in the last 3 months, 21 rate a Buy on MU stock, 2 maintain a Hold, while 1 issues a Sell. The 12-month average price target stands at $25.00, marking a nearly 7% upside from where the stock is currently trading.