Things look brighter for Micron

Things are starting to look up for the memory maker Micron.

The outfit posted better fiscal second-quarter results than the cocaine nose jobs of Wall Street had predicted.

Micron reported a net profit of $731 million in the quarter ended February 27, compared with a loss of $286 million a year earlier.

Revenue rose 98 percent to $4.11 billion. Analysts on average expected revenue of $3.985 billion.

The company said the outlook for the memory industry is favourable as it switches production lines to make NAND chips used in smartphones and tablets from making DRAM chips for personal computers.

Prices for DRAM chips made by Micron, Samsung Electronics and SK Hynix have bounced back from a deep memory chip price slump in 2012.

In the current quarter, average selling prices for its DRAM and NAND chips would likely decline by a low single-digit percentage.

Micron’s stock has surged over 160 percent in the past 12 months, helped by the recovery in memory chip prices as well as news in November that David Einhorn’s hedge fund Greenlight Capital had invested in the company.

Micron’s quarterly results include bankrupt Japanese DRAM maker Elpida Memory, which the US chipmaker bought in July 2013.

Micron believes that reducing the number of players in the memory chip industry will put an end to the ups and downs of price which left the company reporting losses and driven smaller competitors out of business.

Declining sales of personal computers have hurt demand for DRAM and Micron has been focusing more on specialised DRAM for smartphones and tablets. It has also converted DRAM production lines to make NAND chips used to store data like music and photos on mobile devices.

NAND chips have also been making inroads into data centres and high-end laptops.

Micron is more optimistic about DRAM chips than NAND chips due to imbalances between supply and demand. But in the long term, NAND chips have more growth potential, the company said.