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Analysts up targets for Micron Technology

Micron Technology's (NYSE: MU) third quarter results saw excitement from analysts than investors Friday; the stock edged up just 0.5 percent while analysts upped their estimates for the chip maker.

Micron lived up to its plaudits received in the past week, shattering analysts' estimates by 13 cents a share in its third quarter. That bullishness, which had the stock up to over 91 Wednesday, may be part of the reason the stock isn't getting much mileage out of the good news. Its shares closed off 5 9/16 to 85 3/16 ahead of the earnings report.

Lehman Brothers upped fiscal 2001 estimates to $4.10 a share from $3.50 a share, and fiscal 2000 to $2.05 a share from $1.85 a share, , saying Micron stock "continues to be our best idea."

"Our $100 (per share) year-end price target is conservative, as are our estimates,'' Lehman, which reiterated its buy rating on Micron shares, said in a note.

UBS Warburg upped fiscal 2001 estimates to $3.53 from $3.41 a share and fiscal 2002 estimates to $4.92 a share from $4.80 a share.

In the quarter, Micron (NYSE: MU) posted a profit of $275 million, or 47 cents a share, on sales of $1.8 billion, vaulting over First Call's expectation of 34 cents a share.

The $1.8 billion in sales marks a stunning 108 percent improvement from the year-ago quarter when it lost $27.7 million, or 5 cents a share, on sales of $864 million.

In the quarter, chip sales surged to $1.5 billion, up 30 percent from the second quarter as PC manufacturers snapped up higher speed chips at a frantic pace.

However, average selling prices were down 20 percent from last quarter.

Micron also acknowledged it was having to allocate memory chips to contend with unmet customer demand.

``Generally it's our perception that supply is really tight,'' one company official said during a conference call that followed the financial report.

Last quarter, Micron missed analysts' estimates mainly due to slumping DRAM prices. It still managed to earn $161 million, or 58 cents a share, on sales of $1.4 billion.

Reuters contributed to this report.