Shares of U.S. based semiconductor manufacturer Micron Technology Inc. (MU) are up 10.3% in post-market trading after reporting better-than-expected fiscal 2017 second-quarter earnings on Thursday after market close. At a price of $29.19 in the after-hours, the DRAM and NAND chipmaker leader’s stock reflects a whopping 181% year-over-year (YOY) increase.
Spike in Chip Pricing Plagues Most Firms
Boise, Idaho-based Micron saw its shares last peak in 2014, until a decline in the firm’s core DRAM market dragged the stock down before a rebound in spring of 2016. As one of the last standing major DRAM chip manufacturers when the market revived, Micron has benefited from favorable supply demand dynamics in which a supply shortage has caused chip prices to increase. In the firm’s latest earnings, Micron attributed 58% of revenue growth to this spike in memory prices, coupled with increasing cloud server demand and a growing adoption of SSDs based on cheap 3D NAND flash chips.
Analysts indicate Micron and its global memory chip peers are on the cusp of an “ultra-super-cycle” as efforts to make smaller and more efficient chips pair with booming demand for data storage for emerging technology such as smartphones, Internet of Things (IoT) devices and autonomous cars, reports Reuters.
Chipmaker Sees Revenues Soar
In the most recent fiscal Q2, Micron posted adjusted earnings of $0.90 per share on sales of $4.65 billion, compared to analysts’ expected non-GAAP EPS of $0.86 on sales of $4.65 billion. Micron said DRAM average selling prices jumped 21% in the most recent quarter, up from a 5% increase in fiscal Q1. In the quarter ended March 2, the chipmaker also attributed solid sales growth to increasing demand for NAND, as volumes raised 18% due to heightened demand for smartphone storage capacity.
The memory chip company’s current quarter revenue and profit forecasts also far surpassed the Street’s estimates, expecting adjusted profit of $1.50 at the midpoint, above the consensus of $0.90. In fiscal Q3, Micron foresees revenue of $5.4 billion at the midpoint, surpassing the Street’s estimated $4.72 billion. (See also: Micron: Credit Suisse Lifts PT for This Quarter.)