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Shares of

Micron Technology

were down in after-hours trading despite a better-than-expected earnings report from the memory chip maker.

For the quarter ended June 3, Micron (ticker: MU) had revenue of $7.42 billion, up 36% from a year earlier and above the Wall Street consensus forecast of $7.23 billion. Micron originally projected revenue of $6.9 billion to $7.3 billion, though CEO Sanjay Mehrotra told investors in May that the total would likely be at or above the high end of the range.

Micron had adjusted, non-GAAP profits of $1.88 a share, beating analysts’ forecast of $1.71 and the company’s own guidance of $1.62 a share. Non-GAAP gross margins were 42.9%, above guidance at 41.5%.

For the current August quarter, Micron sees revenue of $8.2 billion, give or take $200 million, which is ahead of the Street consensus at $7.9 billion. Micron projects non-GAAP profits for the quarter of $2.30 a share, give or take 10 cents, which beats Wall Street’s estimate of $2.18 a share.

Under generally accepted accounting principles, Micron expects $2.23 a share in earnings, also give or take 10 cents. The company expects non-GAAP gross margin in the quarter increasing to 47%, give or take a percentage point.

“Micron set multiple market and product revenue records in our third quarter and achieved the largest sequential earnings improvement in our history,” Mehrotra said in a statement. Net income in the quarter on a non-GAAP basis grew 93%, to $2.2 billion.

In remarks on the company’s earnings call, Mehrotra said the company expects DRAM and NAND memory chip supply to remain tight into calendar 2022. In materials prepared for the call, the company said it expects 2021 DRAM industry bit growth “somewhat above 20%,” with supply below demand.

Micron sees NAND bit demand growth in the mid-30% range, with supply again below demand. The company noted that DRAM was 73% of revenue in the latest quarter, up 52% from a year ago. NAND revenue was up 9%. Average prices were up 20% sequentially for DRAM in the quarter, with a high single-digit increase in NAND prices.

Mehrotra also said on the call that the company is seeing strong growth across all end markets, including PCs, handsets, cloud, and automotive. He also noted that the shortage of other semiconductor components is impacting demand in some areas, and that demand should further improve as some of those issues ease.

Sumit Sadana, Micron’s chief business officer, noted in an interview with Barron’s that the company plans to boost investment in a cutting-edge chip production technology known as eUV, or extreme ultraviolet lithography. Sadana says that the company expects capital spending for the August 2022 fiscal year as a result to be in the mid-30s range as a percentage of revenue, up from a previous forecast in the low 30s. The company does not expects volume production from those tools until fiscal 2024.

Sadana also noted that the company expects cost savings next year from an aggressive rollout of two key technologies–“one alpha” DRAM chips, with smaller line widths than previous generations, and 176 layer NAND chips, which are denser than comparable older parts. But he added that some of the cost savings associated with those technologies would be offset by higher costs related to a product portfolio shift with higher average price points, but also higher margins. In the NAND market, for instance, the company is selling more solid-state drives.

Separately, Micron announced an agreement to sell its Lehi, Utah, chip production fab to

Texas Instruments

(TXN) for $900 million in cash. The company said it would generate another $600 million in value from tools and other assets. The company said it has sold some of those assets and will retain the rest to redeploy to other sites or to sell to other buyers.

Micron, which gained 2.3% to $84.83 in Wednesday’s regular session, was down 1.7% in after-hours trading.

Write to Eric J. Savitz at [email protected]


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