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Micron Technology falls short

The memory chipmaker blames "declining market conditions" for missing analysts' earnings estimates.

Memory chipmaker Micron Technology blamed "declining market conditions" for missing analysts' earnings estimates Wednesday.

After market close, the company reported net income of $352 million, or 58 cents per share, for its fiscal first quarter of 2001. A consensus of analysts expected the company to earn 60 cents per share, according to First Call/Thomson Financial. That compares with $341 million, or 60 cents per share, the same quarter last year.

First-quarter revenue grew to $1.8 billion from $1.6 billion in the same period last year.

Despite missing estimates, the company's CEO said he was pleased with the results.

"Despite declining market conditions, Micron had a very strong quarter," CEO Steve Appleton said in a statement. He also offered a preview of the current quarter. "Since quarter end, market conditions for our primary products have continued to weaken resulting in significant declines in average selling prices and higher inventory levels," he said.

Many industry watchers expected Micron to fall short of analysts' forecast because of the spate of warnings coming from the PC industry.

Micron Technology's PC subsidiary, Micron Electronics, also reported earnings Wednesday. It posted earnings of 2 cents per share on revenue of $404 million. That was in line with analysts' lowered expectations and in the range of a Micron Electronics warning in late November.