Could Micron Be the Hottest Tech Stock in 2018?

Chris Lange

Micron Technology Inc. (NASDAQ: MU) shares made an incredible gain to kick off the week after an analyst issued the most bullish call in the history of the stock. Although the markets have been subject to a severe amount of volatility recently, the tech sector appears to be the rising tide that stocks are recovering on, and this call on Micron is a big wave.

Nomura Instinet’s Romit Shah reiterated a Buy rating for Micron and raised the price target to $100 from $55. Shah believes that this stock is on the verge of another major breakout.

Earnings estimates for the chipmaker were also raised. The firm expects to see per-share earnings for the 2019 fiscal year (ending in August) to be $12.22, up from $11.78. Keep in mind that the consensus estimate is stuck at $8.71 per share.

Overall, Nomura Instinet sees DRAM pricing resuming an upward trend in the second quarter. This directly contradicts what Wall Street is calling for, which is about a 5% to 6% decline over the next four quarters.

Shah detailed in the report that memory prices have dropped about 3% so far in 2018, which fares well compared with the 10% to 20% seasonal decline that the market has seen in the past few years. Another prediction from Shah is that prices will rise by roughly 10% over the next six months.

At the same time, the firm believes that a first-time dividend and share buyback are coming in May, as well as continued margin expansion in NAND and the potential for M&A. All this combined potentially provides for a very bright future for this stock.

Keep in mind that Micron has been one of the hottest stocks over the past year. The stock is up about 117% in the past 52 weeks, with about 33% of this coming in 2018 alone. This is vastly outpacing the tech sector, which is up only 33% in the past year and 10% year to date.

Shares of Micron were last seen up 11% at $60.60, with a consensus analyst price target of $60.04 and a 52-week trading range of $24.94 to $61.08.