Micron has been a solid value play for the majority of the 2017 tech run and I think it's worth looking at the current standing and valuation as of current, should you choose to stay long tech into 2019.
Micron had a $2.5 EPS just 90 days ago with a PE of just over 8. MU reported FQ4 guidance Rev/ EPS @ 8.2bn / $3.30 substantially higher than expected nearing 8bn / $3.1.
As expected, MU outperformed AMD with DRAM up 6%, "Hyperscale" applications up ~30% q/q and seems to be able to meed the N AND expectations of 45% y/y.
After looking at the current standing, I do feel like the is still room for MU to grow, at least into FQ2/FY19. Trading at 4.78x PE and 5.0x EV / FCF , the valuation isn't as overheated as the rest of the major tech plays - and is actually very appealing. Q3 is to turn MU net cash positive and there is to be a ~1bn buyback in September.
I also feel like CapEx and operational, investments are being implemented fruitfully with 'incremental cleanroom space' in Hiroshima, Japan, which will be available for production at the beginning of calendar year 2019 For FY2018, with expected capital expenditures to be in the upper end of previously guided range of $7.5 billion, plus or minus 5 percent.
-DRAM outlook is still looking good with 19% in DRAM shipments.
-64L Bit crossover completed one Q ahead of schedule.
However, its important to consider the cyclical nature of semiconductors:
The DRAM and NAND Flash business is cyclical in nature with each cycle comprising of four phases:
- Increased demand, high profitability: Market is in under-supply with strong pricing and hence, high profitability. Profits are spent on capacity addition, with increase in supply after a period of 8-12 months.
- Oversupply and losses: Market is marked by oversupply and falling ASPs. Focus is on driving cost efficiencies.
- Continued oversupply, losses run deeper: Demand is pushed a little higher due to price elasticity. ASPs continue to fall and approach cash cost levels. CapEx is delayed and fabrication units are run at lower capacity.
- Supply correction, return to profitability: Reduced supply leads to correction and demand sufficiency. ASPs see correction or possible rebound while costs continue to decline. CapEx spending starts again.
The market was in the continued oversupply and losses phase till 2012, but entered the correction and profitability phase in 2013. The market is now in the supply correction phase, and the demand is both DRAM and NAND Flash is expected to outpace supply in the near future
Quoted SOTP valuation metrics put MU at $64 - 70 and street expectations near $80 with higher interval ranges nearing $90. I am staying long the stock but expectations remain low due to the possibility of the Chinese "market access liberalisation" policy, tariffs on Semi's and concerns regarding the flash/chips pricing structure and whether the major players have been inflating prices.
Tim Arcuri's comments are worth considering with a discount, however the probability of a large scale correction in memory is rather low, especially in the short run.
"chip memory is replacing disk in both clients and servers, and it has become cost-efficient for cloud."
I do think the street is correct on this one, however I would be pleasantly surprised if MU reached Stiful's Analyst's Targets at @ $106.
I may post a model later.