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Wall Street Reacts After Micron Beats Consensus In Q1

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Wall Street Reacts After Micron Beats Consensus In Q1
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Shares of Micron Technology, Inc. (NASDAQ: MU) is trading up Wednesday after delivering a top- and bottom-line beat in its fiscal first quarter earnings report. Micron guided its fiscal second quarter notably above Street estimates. Here's how Wall Street reacted. 

Citi: Micron Has The Sector's Highest Margins 

Citi's Christopher Danely maintains a Buy rating on Micron's stock with a price target boosted from $51 to $55.

Micron's earnings report solidly exceeded the Street's estimates on the top- and bottom-line but perhaps more important, gross margins increased by 420 basis points from the prior quarter to 55.1 percent and exceeded the company's own guidance of 52 percent, Danely said. This would give Micron the status of boasting the highest margins in the semiconductor space due to higher DRAM prices.

Micron also guided its fiscal second quarter gross margins to a range of 54 to 58 percent, above the analyst's prior estimate of 48 percent and coming on the basis of a stable DRAM market and lower costs.

Related Link: 6 Biggest Price Target Changes For Wednesday

Morgan Stanley: 'Things Are Getting Better' 

Morgan Stanley's Joseph Moore maintains an Overweight rating on Micron's stock with an unchanged $55 price target.

Micron delivered "substantial upside" versus consensus estimates in its earnings report and guided for a "stronger" quarter ahead, Moore said in a note. While some investors have some concerns that NAND is entering a period of "measured price declines," Micron's exposure to NAND is just 27 percent, Moore said. Micron has "substantial levers" to move NAND gross margins higher despite a tougher environment, he said. 

Similarly, some investors have concerns with DRAM levels and the impact on Micron from potential wafer start additions at Samsung, the analyst said. As it stands, Moore said that aggregate wafer fab equipment for DRAM is still "well below" 2015's levels, and supply growth will likely remain constrained, as new wafers have much higher capital intensity than technology transitions.

"Given our constructive view of DRAM, and our view that Micron can offset pressures in NAND as its competitive position improves, we do think that things are getting better, and still see material upside for the stock from here." 

BMO Needs To See 'Sustainability' Before Upgrading

BMO Capital Markets' Ambrish Srivastava maintains a Market Perform rating on Micron's stock with an unchanged $43 price target.

Micron's earnings report and guidance could be summarized as being "big and bigger," as the memory cycle "continues to motor on — for now," Srivastava said in a note. Overall, the company's execution remains solid and cost reductions in NAND were impressive, the analyst said. But these weren't reasons enough for BMO to turn as bullish as other analysts have.

"We continue to rate MU shares Market Perform," Srivastava said. "We would be willing to revisit our Market Perform stance if we were to be convinced of the sustainability of the current cycle on a longer-term basis."

Elsewhere On The Street

Loop Capital Market's Betsy Van Hees maintains a Buy rating on Micron's stock with a price target raised from $48 to $56.

Credit Suisse's John Pitzer maintains an Outperform rating on Micron's stock with a price target boosted form $50 to $60.

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Latest Ratings for MU

DateFirmActionFromTo
Oct 2018BarclaysMaintainsOverweightOverweight
Oct 2018SusquehannaDowngradesPositiveNeutral
Sep 2018Morgan StanleyMaintainsEqual-WeightEqual-Weight

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Posted-In: Ambrish Srivastava Betsy Van Hees BMO Capital Markets Christopher DanelyAnalyst Color Price Target Reiteration Analyst Ratings Best of Benzinga

 

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