MU

Micron Technology, Inc.

50.10
USD
0.89%
50.10
USD
0.89%
48.45 98.45
52 weeks
52 weeks

Mkt Cap 56.04B

Shares Out 1.12B

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Say Goodbye to Micron's Fat Profits

Soaring demand for PCs and other consumer gadgets during the pandemic created the ideal market conditions for memory chip manufacturer Micron (NASDAQ: MU). The average selling price for DRAM chips rose 8% in Micron's fiscal 2021 as demand outpaced supply. Combined with higher bit volumes and the constant driving down of per-bit manufacturing costs, Micron's profits went through the roof. Micron churned out $5.86 billion of net income on $27.7 billion of revenue in fiscal 2021. For a producer of commodity products, sky-high margins are normal when the stars align. Strong demand pushes up prices, and that extra revenue flows right through to Micron's bottom line. But this situation was never going to last forever. Markets correct, and shortages give way to gluts. When demand starts to fall short of supply in a commodity market, prices can plunge rapidly. Combined with tumbling unit volumes, profits can very quickly dry up. Oversupply has arrived The first signs of trouble showed up in Micron's fiscal third-quarter report in late June. Micron's revenue and profits rose, but its guidance was a bit weak. The company pointed to softening demand for consumer electronics and high inventory levels at customers to explain the shortfall. In just over a month since that report, the situation has become a whole lot worse. In early August, Micron disclosed that it now expects its fourth-quarter revenue to come in at or below the low-end of its guidance range. Inventory adjustments at customers have intensified, leading Micron to slash its expectations for industry bit demand. By the time the first quarter of fiscal 2023 rolls around, Micron expects its free cash flow to turn negative. The company is cutting its capital spending plans in response. Micron now expects its total capex in fiscal 2023 to be well below fiscal 2022 levels. This is how cycles in the memory chip industry typically play out. Oversupply leads to tumbling prices and profits, prompting manufacturers to lower spending on capacity expansion. Demand eventually catches up and surpasses supply, leading to higher prices and profits. Everyone gets optimistic again and ramps up investments, which eventually leads to oversupply and another round of pain. Each cycle is a little different. The pandemic created a historically lucrative environment for Micron, so my guess is the aftermath is going to be historically painful. Prices are dropping fast enough that you can expect Micron's profits to contract quickly. In early July, researchers at TrendForce revised down their outlook for DRAM pricing in the third calendar quarter. Previously, TrendForce was expecting a modest 3% to 8% drop in prices from the second quarter, with much of pain concentrated in PC and smartphone memory. TrendForce's new outlook called for a 10% drop in prices overall, with an 8% to 13% drop for consumer DRAM chips. A month later, TrendForce became far more pessimistic. They now see a 13% to 18% sequential decline in prices for consumer DRAM in the third quarter, and "the possibility of sustained decline cannot be ruled out." Once one manufacturer starts slashing prices to move supply, other manufacturers have little choice but to follow suit. No quick end in sight This situation won't end until customer inventory levels are brought back down. Given the state of the PC market, that may take a while. Gartner sees PC shipments dropping 9.5% this year , and desktop CPU shipments are at their lowest level in nearly 30 years as customers grapple with too much inventory. In other words, demand bouncing back isn't going to save the memory chip industry. Instead, the painful process of bringing supply and demand back into balance will need to play out. In cycles of the past, Micron would routinely post losses as the industry hit low points. That looks like a likely outcome this time around. Eventually, the oversupply in the industry will be whittled down and prices will stop declining so quickly. But until then, you can kiss Micron's fat pandemic-era profits goodbye. 10 stocks we like better than Micron Technology When our award-winning analyst team has a stock tip, it can pay to listen. After all, the newsletter they have run for over a decade, Motley Fool Stock Advisor, has tripled the market.* They just revealed what they believe are the ten best stocks for investors to buy right now... and Micron Technology wasn't one of them! That's right -- they think these 10 stocks are even better buys. *Stock Advisor returns as of August 11, 2022 Timothy Green has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool recommends Gartner. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc. Founded in 1993 in Alexandria, VA., by brothers David and Tom Gardner, The Motley Fool is a multimedia financial-services company dedicated to building the world's greatest investment community. Reaching millions of people each month through its website, books, newspaper column, radio show, television appearances, and subscription newsletter services, The Motley Fool champions shareholder values and advocates tirelessly for the individual investor. The company's name was taken from Shakespeare, whose wise fools both instructed and amused, and could speak the truth to the king -- without getting their heads lopped off. Today’s Big Picture Asia-Pacific equity indexes ended today’s session down across the board. India’s Sensex ended the day essentially flat, down 0.06%, China’s Shanghai Composite and Australia’s ASX All Ordinaries declined 0.54% and 0.55%, respectively while Japan’s Nikkei fell 0.65%, Taiwan’s TAIEX dropped 0.74% and South Korea’s KOSPI declined 0.90%. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng led the way, down 1.96% on a broad selloff led by Health Technology and Health Services names while Transportation and Communications sectors provided the only relief. By mid-day trading, major European equity indices are down across the board and U.S. futures point to a positive open later this morning. At 8:30 AM ET, the much anticipated July Consumer Price Index (CPI) report was released: The headline figure for the month was expected to fall to 8.7% from June’s blistering 9.1% reading with core CPI that excludes food and energy ticking higher to 6.1% in July vs. 6.0% the prior month. The actual numbers show that inflation hit 8.5%, and core inflation was 5.9%. With the national average retail price for a gallon of gas falling through late June and July from its June 14 high of $5.016 per gallon per data from AAA, forecasters had expected the month over month decline in the headline CPI for July. The July Employment Report also showed wage inflation ran hotter than expected during the month. Let’s also keep in mind that we will be facing a “wash, rinse, repeat” cycle when it comes to inflation data and expectations for the Fed given tomorrow’s July Producer Price Index report. Data Download International Economy Producer prices in Japan rose by 8.6% YoY in July, compared with market forecasts of 8.4% and following an upwardly revised 9.4% the prior month. While marking the 17th straight month of producer inflation, the latest reading was the softest since last December. China's annual inflation rate rose to 2.7% in July from 2.5% in June and compared with market forecasts of 2.9% but even so the July figure marked the highest reading in the last year. The country’s Producer Price Inflation figure for July eased to a 17-month low of 4.2% YoY from 6.1% the prior month and less than the market consensus of 4.8%. Annual inflation rate in Germany was confirmed at 7.5% YoY for the month of July, down slightly from June’s 7.6% reading but still above the March and April figures of 7.3%-7.4%. The annual inflation rate in Italy slowed to 7.9% YoY in July from June’s 8% reading matching expectations for the month. While energy prices declined, prices for food and transportation rose at a faster pace. Domestic Economy This morning we have the usual Wednesday weekly reports for MBA Mortgage Applications and Crude Oil Inventories from the U.S. Energy Information Administration. At 10 AM ET, Wholesale Inventories for June will be published, and the figure is expected to rise 1.9%. While investors and economists will keep more than a passing interest in those reports and data, as we discussed above, it will be the July Consumer Price Index report at 8:30 AM ET that will shape not only how the US stock market opens today, but also expectations for the Fed’s next course of monetary policy action. The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) expects domestic production of crude oil, natural gas and coal will all increase next year compared with this year. It forecast US crude production rising 6.7% to an all-time annual high 12.7M bbl/day in 2023 from 11.9M bbl/day in 2022, US natural gas output climbing to 100B cubic feet (cf)/day from 97B cf/day, and US coal production inching up to 601M short tons in 2023 from an expected 599M this year. The EIA also modestly increased its 2022 average nationwide gasoline price forecast to $4.07/GALLON vs. $4.05 if called for last month. It now also sees 2023 prices at $3.59/GAL vs. its previous forecast of $3.57. Markets Stocks continued in their holding pattern waiting for the latest CPI print save for some fundamental stories pushing Technology names and small caps around. The Dow and the S&P 500 were down slightly at 0.18% and 0.42%, respectively while the Nasdaq Composite dropped 1.19% and the Russell 2000 closed down 1.46% on the day. Energy names led the way yesterday but were overpowered by Technology and Consumer Discretionary sectors. Here’s how the major market indicators stack up year-to-date: Dow Jones Industrial Average: -9.81% S&P 500: -13.51% Nasdaq Composite: -20.14% Russell 2000: -15.83% Bitcoin (BTC-USD): -52.08% Ether (ETH-USD): -55.38% Stocks to Watch Before trading kicks off, CyberArk (CYBR), Fox Corp. (FOXA), Jack in the Box (JACK), Nomad Foods (NOMD), Vita Coco (COCO), Tufin Software (TUFN), and Wendy’s (WEN) will be among the companies issuing their latest quarterly results and guidance. At 9 AM ET, Samsung (SSNLF) will hold its Galaxy Unpacked 2022 at which it is expected to introduce new Galaxy foldable smartphone models, a new Galaxy Watch, and Galaxy Buds. Shares of advertising technology platform company The Trade Desk (TTD) jumped after the company reported quarterly results that topped expectations and guided current quarter revenue above the consensus forecast. The RealReal (REAL) reported a smaller than expected bottom line loss for its June quarter as revenue for the period rose 47.2% YoY to %154.44 million, topping the $153.99 million consensus. However, the company issued downside guidance for both the current quarter and 2022. Revenue for the September quarter is now expected to be $145-$155 million vs. the $164.3 million consensus; for the full year of 2022, revenue is forecasted to be $615-$635 million vs. the $653.7 million consensus. Shares of Coinbase Global (COIN) moved lower after it reported June quarter results that missed top and bottom line expectations. Revenue for the quarter fell 63.7% YoY as Total trading volume fell 53.0% YoY and 29.8% sequentially to $217 billion. Monthly Transacting Users (MTUs) grew 2.3% YoY but fell 2.2% sequentially to 9.0 million. For the current quarter, Coinbase sees the number of MTUs trending lower sequentially and total trading volume to be lower compared to the June quarter. Shares of Sweetgreen (SG) tumbled in aftermarket trading last night after the company missed quarterly revenue expectations, lowered its 2022 forecast, announced it will lay off 5% of its workforce, and downsize to smaller offices. ChipMOS TECHNOLOGIES (IMOS) reported its July revenue was $65.1 million, a decrease of 19.4% YoY and down 7.7% MoM. Taiwan Semiconductor (TSM) reported its July revenue increased 49.9% YoY to NT$186.76 billion, which equates to a 6.2% MoM improvement. Electric vehicle subscription startup Autonomy placed a $1.2 billion order for 23K electric vehicles with 17 global automakers, including BMW (BMWYY), Canoo (GOEV), Fisker (FSR), Ford (F), General Motors (GM), Hyundai (HYMTF), Lucid Group (LCID), Mercedes-Benz (DDAIF), Polestar (PSNY), Rivian (RIVN), Stellantis (STLA), Subaru (FUJHY), Tesla (TSLA), Toyota Motor (TM), VinFast, Volvo Car (VLVOF) and Volkswagen (VLKAF). IPOs As of now, no IPOs are slated to be priced this week. Readers looking to dig more into the upcoming IPO calendar should visit Nasdaq’s Latest & Upcoming IPOs page. After Today’s Market Close Bumble (BMBL), CACI International (CACI), Coherent (COHR), Dutch Bros. (BROS), Red Robin Gourmet (RRGB), and Walt Disney (DIS) are expected to report their quarterly results after equities stop trading today. Those looking for more on which companies are reporting when, head on over to Nasdaq’s Earnings Calendar. On the Horizon Thursday, August 11 Germany: Thomson Reuters Ipsos Monthly Global Primary Consumer Sentiment Index - August US: Weekly Initial & Continuing Jobless Claims US: Producer Price Index – July US: Weekly EIA Natural Gas Inventories Friday, August 12 Japan: Thomson Reuters Ipsos Monthly Global Primary Consumer Sentiment Index - August China: China Thomson Reuters Ipsos Monthly Global Primary Consumer Sentiment Index - August Eurozone: Industrial Production - June US: Import/Export Prices – July US: University of Michigan Consumer Sentiment Index (Preliminary) – August Thought for the Day “The release date is just one day, but the record is forever.” ~ Bruce Springsteen Disclosures Tufin Software (TUFN), CyberArk (CYBR) are constituents of the Foxberry Tematica Research Cybersecurity & Data Privacy Index Canoo (GOEV), Fisker (FSR), Lucid Group (LCID), Rivian (RIVN), Tesla (TSLA), Vita Coco (COCO) are constituents of the Tematica BITA Cleaner Living Index Canoo (GOEV), Fisker (FSR), Lucid Group (LCID), Rivian (RIVN), Tesla (TSLA), Vita Coco (COCO) are constituents of the Tematica BITA Cleaner Living Sustainability Screened Index The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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