Sorry!! The article you are trying to read is not available now.
Thank you very much;
you're only a step away from
downloading your reports.

Micron: Money From Memory


Trying to pick a winner in the increasingly competitive handset and tablet market is a risky endeavor. Instead, investors should focus on names that benefit from growing demand for mobile devices, regardless of which handset maker comes out on top.

Micron Technology (NASDAQ:MU) fits the bill for investors. The company makes three kinds of semiconductor memory: NAND (44% of 2012 revenue), DRAM (39%), and NOR (12%).

NAND flash-memory chips are compact, energy efficient, and capable of storing electronic data even when the power is switched off.

These qualities make NAND flash-memory the preferred solution in smartphones, tablets, and ultra-thin laptops equipped with shock-resistant solid-state drives.

DRAM is an older memory technology that's still used in many PCs and servers. Though less expensive than NAND, in terms of cost per storage capacity, DRAM is volatile memory that loses data quickly when powered down.

Once Micron Technology's most important product category, DRAM has shrunk to 39% of the firm's revenue, from about 60% in 2010. NOR flash-memory chips, which can be easily erased and reprogrammed, feature prominently in smartphones, automobiles, and industrial machinery.

Our investment thesis for Micron Technology rests on three pillars: rapidly growing demand for memory, reduced competition from industry consolidation, and a focus on rolling out new technology that should limit manufacturing capacity and prevent an oversupply over the next few years.

Robust demand for lower-end smartphones in emerging markets may pressure average handset selling prices, but this growth trend is big business for memory producers.

Not only are shipments of smartphones and tablets increasing, but the amount of memory in the average device is also on the rise, as consumers demand more capacity and capabilities from their handsets.

Since 2011, the capacity of NAND flash-memory in the average mobile phone has more than doubled to almost ten gigabytes (GB). Over the same period, the storage capacity of solid-state drives (flash-memory that functions as a hard drive) in laptops has jumped to more than 130GB from 84GB.

Whereas demand for flash-memory is on the rise, the supply of these chips remains constrained, because depressed prices and profit margins dissuaded producers from investing in additional manufacturing capacity.

We prefer Micron to Samsung (OTCMKTS:SSNLF) and Toshiba (TYO:6502) because the stock is a pure play on memory. Moreover, the company sports a debt-to-equity ratio of just over 40%, compared to about 58% for Hynix.

Micron Technology is also participating in industry consolidation through its $2.5 billion acquisition of Elpida Memory (TYO:6665), which is slated to close before the year-end.

With the addition of Elpida Memory, Micron will overtake Hynix to become the second-largest DRAM player by market share.
Our firm is adding Micron Technology to our Wealth Builders Portfolio. Prospective investors should be aware that the stock can be prone to volatility, though the risk-reward balance appears favorable at present.

Robust prices for memory, coupled with the acquisition of Elpida Memory, could propel the stock to about $20 per share over the next 12 months.

Editor's Note: This article was written by Elliott Gue of Capitalist Times for MoneyShow.

Below, find some more great investing and trading content from MoneyShow:

Best Bets Among ETFs

Financial Favorites for Value and Yield

It's Not Too Early to Spot the Gold Differences

Twitter: @TopProsTopPicks
< Previous
  • 1
Next >
No positions in stocks mentioned.
The information on this website solely reflects the analysis of or opinion about the performance of securities and financial markets by the writers whose articles appear on the site. The views expressed by the writers are not necessarily the views of Minyanville Media, Inc. or members of its management. Nothing contained on the website is intended to constitute a recommendation or advice addressed to an individual investor or category of investors to purchase, sell or hold any security, or to take any action with respect to the prospective movement of the securities markets or to solicit the purchase or sale of any security. Any investment decisions must be made by the reader either individually or in consultation with his or her investment professional. Minyanville writers and staff may trade or hold positions in securities that are discussed in articles appearing on the website. Writers of articles are required to disclose whether they have a position in any stock or fund discussed in an article, but are not permitted to disclose the size or direction of the position. Nothing on this website is intended to solicit business of any kind for a writer's business or fund. Minyanville management and staff as well as contributing writers will not respond to emails or other communications requesting investment advice.

Copyright 2011 Minyanville Media, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
Featured Videos