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Electric Phred  

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  • After The Recent Rout Micron Is A Very Strong Buy [View article]

    You'd do well to spend some time with Russ and calibrate his calls and evaluate his rolodex, as I have done since heeding his advice and diving into Micron in early 2013. I eventually even listened to him on getting out, albeit i stayed at the party a couple of months too long. I believe Russ recently stuck a toe back in the Micron waters. i was brilliant (read procrastinator/sloth) and only climbed back into the Micron canoe this week, post meltdown.

    Yes, Russ hails from sales. That gave him a very wide ranging beat and allowed him under the covers with all sorts of engineers on all sorts of projects. Yes, Russ knows and chats with many engineering types on a very microscopic and intense level. As recently as this week Russ referred to Sammy on a particular point as a large dumb animal with huge teeth. He is eyes very wide open when it comes to Sammy and foreign competition.

    By my tally of hedge funds, institutions, and individuals I know well, Russ is personally to blame for making them a 9 figure sum (to the left of the decimal) on Micron. Many of them (and me) would have preserved more of that gain had we exited when he did. I think Russ's re-entry into a stock he knows well, in an industry he's lived and breathed in interesting positions for decades, should be quite telling to readers of SA.

    I predicted on some comment on some thread that Micron was due for a bit of a bounce post selloff. Hopefully today was the beginning of what may only be a couple of point recovery. I expect the intermediate term to be quite choppy. I hope to be out of my July monthly options by the time Intel reports on July 14th. If their PC biz has a case of the sniffles, Microns swan dive will accelerate. Longer term (defined as the appearance of benchmarkable 3D parts) I think we are off to a very interesting race indeed. Remember Edison and Tesla warring over AC vs. DC? Remember the dawn of cellphones with TDMA vs. CDMA? Remember Betamax vs. VHS? Stay tuned for charge trap vs. floating gate for 3D NAND. I'm voting with Russ on the Intel/Micron floating gate technology. Its gonna be a battle royale of press releases and its gonna be big. I think it may be winner take all for a couple of years which will be mighty fine. Take a look at the financials for STX and WDC. Look at their top line and add about another $12 billion or so for SSD's. This here is a $40billion++ rodeo starting up and its going to be quite a ride.
    Jul 2, 2015. 06:39 PM | 10 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • After The Recent Rout Micron Is A Very Strong Buy [View article]

    on your second point I am typing this on a Win 7 machine with a HDD. When I upgrade to Win 10, the whole rig is going out to the workshop or perhaps to the garage where it can do exciting things like monitor the state of charge on my EV. In will come a brand new machine with an SSD and lots and lots of RAM, replete with the ability to handle RealSense and whatever other gizmos Intel and others cook up. There is no way I am going to pay an IT tech, or spend a weekend upgrading this tech to Win 10 and see a hobbled version thereof. i expect I won't be alone in a "forklift upgrade" to Win 10. i've done a couple of other migrations on existing hardware and swear never to do it again.
    Jul 2, 2015. 06:11 PM | 5 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Intel/Micron Joint Venture Might Not Last After 2018 [View article]

    As to the hyper short term: institutions who didn't want to show MU in their portfolios as of the end of the 2Q are now done selling. There was a blackout on the ability to repurchase until after the earnings announcement. Those two factors, along with the fact that the stock may have over reacted on the downside, are what make me think we may have a slight recovery here.
    Jul 1, 2015. 10:41 AM | 5 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Intel/Micron Joint Venture Might Not Last After 2018 [View article]

    Geez, Bastille Day plus 1. or only two days before the expiry of the growing trove of July monthly call options I've assembled this week.

    I've now read the call transcript twice and listened to it once. Certainly these guys are terrible script writers and readers. And heaven help them when an analyst asks a question. But it seems to me the basic story, which I've been attracted back to post meltdown, is intact. Very nice to hear that they feel industry supply will be outstripped by industry demand in both NAND and DRAM. i am fully with Breezy, Russ, Zealot et alia on PCM. Remember the blobs on their roadmaps for storage class memory? Those are due out about now. I also think the charge trap vs. floating gate battle on 3D NAND could be monumental along the lines of Tesla vs. Edison, AC vs. DC, TDMA vx CDMA, Betamax vs. VHS. And I am voting with the floating gate boys....

    Window dressing is now done and the institutions who wanted/needed to have made this stock disappear from their quarter end holdings. Ernie can now re-commence stock buybacks. here's to the dead cat bounce. here's to ELRAM and July 15th!
    Jun 30, 2015. 10:52 PM | 8 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Intel/Micron Joint Venture Might Not Last After 2018 [View article]
    Zealot: Here's a link to your Zhang and Li article

    I need a rainy day on my upcoming visit to Maine to really digest all this but it does seem to tie a lot together: Mr. Breezy's roadmap, HMC, storage class memory refs, mysterious disappearance of PCM parts from Micron's website with no announcement, etc. etc
    Jun 30, 2015. 07:49 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Intel And Micron: The Purple Swan [View article]
    Steve Rasher:

    I was an ENER holder who managed to get out with his skin on. I've also been involved in investing in a few bankrupt entities in order to manufacture the resultant equity. But I am not a bankruptcy attorney and don't play one on late night TV.

    I agree conceptually that both fraudulent conveyance and preference may be at play here but it is a bit more nuanced than you lay out. First, Ovonyx was set up well before the bankruptcy. Its establishment itself was not a preference item. But the sale to Micron (which I don't think was just ENER's stake in Ovonyx) was clearly a preference item. Also at play here in some complicated filings is the use of a huge Directors and Officers insurance policy which was put in place not long before the bankruptcy. The directors and officers were in a scuffle with the Trustee over who had a call on this and how it might be shared.

    Also at play here is delay. Clearly the latest variant of the PCM incarnation that Mr. Breezy talks about here isn't quite ready for prime time. Since its not, why fully unveil it and allow the liquidating trustee in the bankruptcy to say "Ah ha! There's real value here....". On this score its best to delay settling with the liquidating Trustee (if they are inclined to settle) and not show a towering value.

    Perhaps Stephen Breezy can interlineate more of the detail. But he is right that the settlement of the ENER bankruptcy is somehow pivotal to a full unveiling of whatever is going on with PCM. If not much were going on with PCM and it didn't have huge upside potential, my bet is this would have been settled long ago or the liquidating trustee would have walked away from this issue out of boredom.
    Jun 16, 2015. 12:23 PM | 5 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Summit calls Micron bottom, speculates Google could take a stake [View news story]
    Morgan Stanley is the latest firm to cut their rating on Micron. They are now at 56 cents for the quarter.

    Their report is the first time I've seen that Microsoft may be using tiered pricing for Win 10 based on the amount of DRAM, eg, a lower price for small machines with say 2GB of DRAM vs a desktop. MS theorize this may push down DRAM demand due to Win 10.

    They also feel that the PCDRAM softness is bleeding over to other sectors:

    "DRAM Channel contacts in Taiwan and Korea are significantly more negative than DRAM company managements. Everyone we talked to believed that PC, server, and graphics pricing will remain under pressure in 3q, and several believed it will remain pressured all year, while others were more optimistic about a seasonal recovery in 4q. The supply transition towards mobile is below expectations, which limits the recovery in computing markets. While all company managements appear confident in 2016 dynamics, buyers and sellers of DRAM showed less certainty."
    Jun 15, 2015. 07:21 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Intel And Micron: The Purple Swan [View article]
    Abby: I'm with Mr. Breezy on the likelihood of some manifestation of PCM being the next big thing. However some of his road signs could point to other technologies. One memory writer I follow is Chris Mellor on The Register. He's just written about Nantero landing a $31.5mm round. His article shows funding history which is also quite helpful:
    Jun 14, 2015. 06:42 PM | 4 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Intel And Micron: The Purple Swan [View article]
    Nope, not in the filing you link. If you really want to follow this you will have to get an account at and pay up per page. This is how some of us had to follow the Elpida bankruptcy process.
    Jun 12, 2015. 02:22 PM | 4 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Intel And Micron: The Purple Swan [View article]
    Stephen: WOW! I've been a fan of yours since the Rabbit Hole article. Linking to my PCM article makes it look quite threadbare compared to this link filled treasure trove which is going to take me a while to go through.

    You link to Ovonyx and I think that is a key link in this chain. Headed by ex Micron CTO Tyler Lowrey and one of the Parkinson brothers, they are just too enmeshed in the history and technology not to be part of whatever is going on. I note that their website has come back to life having been in a coma for years.

    Micron has put persistent memory blobs on their roadmaps, due about now. Intel has released instructions for as yet non existent memory. Lets get on with the show! Could a principal ring in this circus have Stan and Iris Ovshinsky smiling down at us fifty years after the first discoveries?
    Jun 11, 2015. 09:19 PM | 22 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Who Buys Micron? [View article]
    Russ oh Russ! When will you learn? You commented back on November 6, 2013 that INTC should consider buying MU. I wrote an article the next day suggesting AAPL, the largest buyer of NAND in the world, do the deed. And why not? Their largest smartphone competitor Samsung is vertically integrated, so perhaps they should take a move that direction?

    The stock prices at that time:
    MU 17.73
    INTC 24.25
    AAPL 520.92 (since split 7:1)
    its interesting to think what the accretion from a Micron purchase at half today's price would have done for each of the acquirers.

    What's changed? If the charge trap difference is as big as some think this is a chance for INTC to deepen and widen their moat. If there is a significant problem with competing technologies a couple of year lead over competition on a business of this magnitude could be very big indeed.
    Jun 6, 2015. 05:15 PM | 11 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Buying Quality - Bellatrix Exploration [View article]

    Nice article.

    I have been long BXE from much higher levels. Lately, I've been trading a large portion of my position in a tax free account buying the NYSE listed stock below $3 and selling above, which can be a weekly or even daily event. I had hoped for more of a bounce when the first phase of Alder Fields came on line.

    One thing the article doesn't address is how badly the markets stink right now. To some extent it doesn't matter how beautiful we are, if the whole market is fundamentally unprofitable right now. A friend who is very long VLGC ships carrying propane from Houston to Asia for a monster arbitrage sent me this article today: Basically propane is going for a negative price per gallon in Edmonton right now. people are being paid to take propane! Against that backdrop it doesn't matter how spiffy Alder Flats is, or how great our acerage and completion ratios are. The markets just need some time to normalize.
    Jun 5, 2015. 02:54 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Micron Technology: What's Up With Phase Change Memory? [View article]
    User 166:

    Very interesting altho' it bears a date from last August which is important in the PCM world. Sounds like the Micron parts they built this with are the ones that mysteriously disappeared from the web site and from catalogs sometime last year. Best as I can determine, standalone PCM seems dead at the moment at Micron. I think that PCM may yet reappear as a hybrid implementation in offerings like the one this article wrote about.
    May 12, 2015. 04:45 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Micron launches $1B debt offering, plans to refinance [View news story]
    Jaret: this article is about issuing $1billion of straight debt. We can either use that to buy back shares, which alleviates no future cash outflow since we don't pay a dividend. Or we can eliminate converts with a huge future cash flow obligation. I know which I'd prefer to buyback.
    May 8, 2015. 06:51 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Micron launches $1B debt offering, plans to refinance [View news story]
    Jaret always says that buying back converts "is almost exactly the same as the share buyback." And he is always exactly wrong. Jaret: Please look at the coupon payments which are extinguished for some very large numbers of years to maturity when a convert is bought back vs. a share is bought back. Extinguishing all the converts would extinguish tens or even hundreds of millions of dollars in avoided interest payments.

    I also think getting rid of pages of disclosures in our 10Q's and 10K's and ineptly done convertibledilution tables would get us a good housekeeping seal of approval.

    Ernie: take a look at Judy Bruner's convertible disclosures and compare them to Ron Fosters.
    May 8, 2015. 06:20 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment