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Micron Posts Loss on Falling Memory-Chip Prices

Wednesday, 21 Dec 2011 05:24 PM

Micron Technology Inc., the largest U.S. maker of computer-memory chips, reported its second consecutive quarterly loss as prices declined amid lackluster demand for personal computers.

The net loss was $187 million, or 19 cents a share, compared with net income of $155 million, or 15 cents, a year earlier, the Boise, Idaho-based company said in a statement Wednesday. Revenue in the first quarter ended Dec. 1 fell 7.2 percent to $2.09 billion. Analysts in a survey compiled by Bloomberg on average estimated a loss of 8 cents on sales of $2.12 billion.

The price of dynamic random access memory, or DRAM, which provides the main memory in PCs, dropped as much as 30 percent in the recent quarter, according to a note from Hans Mosesmann, an analyst at Raymond James & Associates Inc. Floods in Thailand have left PC makers short of hard-disk drives, leading them to trim orders of other components, Intel Corp. and some smaller chipmakers have said.

Micron shares slipped 25 cents, or 4.3 percent, to $5.54 at the close in New York. The stock has dropped 31 percent this year.

The company is the only remaining U.S.-based maker of DRAM after Asian manufacturers forced out the pioneers of the industry, including Intel and Texas Instruments Inc. Producers’ inability to match supply to demand in DRAM has hurt earnings as prices for the chips, which are traded on commodity exchanges in Asia, often fell below the cost of production.

Micron has reported an annual profit in only four of the past 10 calendar years. The company goes head-to-head with South Korea’s Samsung Electronics Co., the world’s second-largest chipmaker behind Intel.

Micron has lessened its dependence on DRAM by following Samsung and Toshiba Corp. into the market for Nand flash memory, chips that provide the storage in portable electronics such as Apple Inc.’s iPhone and iPad.

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Micron Technology Inc., the largest U.S. maker of computer-memory chips, reported its second consecutive quarterly loss as prices declined amid lackluster demand for personal computers.The net loss was $187 million, or 19 cents a share, compared with net income of $155...
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2011-24-21
Wednesday, 21 Dec 2011 05:24 PM
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