Why Analysts Like Micron Despite the Big Drop After Earnings and Guidance

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Although Micron Technology Inc. (NASDAQ: MU) investors sent shares much lower after it released fiscal fourth-quarter financial results late Thursday, analysts are fairly positive on the stock, seeing this as a buying opportunity.

Note that Micron had bottomed at close to $32 at the start of summer but had then recovered to $50 by mid-September. Again, it looks like Micron has been on the upswing, and this pullback could offer an opportunity for more investors to get into the stock.

24/7 Wall St. has included some brief highlights from the earnings report, as well as what analysts are saying about Micron after the fact.

The company said that it had $0.56 in earnings per share (EPS) and $4.87 billion in revenue, compared with consensus estimates that called for $0.49 in EPS and $4.57 billion in revenue. The same period of last year reportedly had EPS of $3.53 on $8.44 billion in revenue.

Looking ahead to the fiscal first quarter, the company expects to see EPS of $0.46, give or take $0.07, and revenues of $5.0 billion, plus or minus $200 million. Consensus estimates call for $0.48 in EPS and $4.76 billion in revenue for the quarter.

Credit Suisse reiterated an Outperform rating and still has that crazy $90 price target. The firm called Micron’s report “A Messier Bottom, But Still a Bottom.” Its upside-downside levels suggest a price target adjustment may be needed here:

Our Blue Sky Scenario $100 — Our Blue Sky scenario of $100 assumes 11x EPS, sustainable industry growth, and reduced pricing volatility. … Our Grey Sky scenario of $30 assumes trough EPS of $3.75 and a 8x P/E multiple.

Merrill Lynch reiterated a Buy rating with a $60 price objective that as unchanged. The firm gave this investment rationale:

Our Buy rating is based on low multiples (low 1.0x P/B, based on FY20-21E book values), earnings turnaround (after Nov’19-end quarter), healthy financials (net cash position, free cash flow generation with disciplined capex spend) and share buyback. We also see positive guidance among Asian memory chipmakers, particularly for higher bit growth (3Q CY19) and ASP (4Q and CY20).

Here’s what other analysts had to say after the fact:

  • Citigroup reiterated a Sell rating and raised its price target to $35 from $30.
  • Baird reiterated it as Underperform but raised the price target to $30 from $28.
  • Nomura reiterated a Neutral rating and raised its target price to $40 from $32.
  • Wedbush reiterated it as Neutral and raised its price target from $30 to $44.
  • KeyBanc reiterated an Overweight rating and raised its target to $59 from $58.

Shares of Micron were last seen down 9% at $44.15, in a 52-week range of $28.39 to $51.39. The consensus price target is $51.59.


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