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  • Micron: Memory, Oligopolies And Valuation [View article]
    Full production with that sliver of capacity, perhaps.

    Should get some clarity on that tomorrow, assuming these guys want to be clear. Low price makes that buyback go a lot further.
    Apr 1, 2015. 12:07 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Micron: Memory, Oligopolies And Valuation [View article]
    The Elpida deal put them in mobile with a snap of the finger, of course they had to do it.

    Samsung isn't killing themselves or killing prices. Apparently they are selling 8Gb parts for the price of two 4Gb parts, give or take. That's pretty smart.
    In the absence of an acute shortage, prices will drift down.

    I've seen and read an analyst piece that claims yield on Micron's 20nm is ~50% for their own fabs and ~40% for the Inotera fabs. I can't remember which one it was....I've read so much analyst BS lately that my brain is turning to Swiss cheese.

    When I find it I will post it.

    If there was going to be an acute shortage of DRAM it should have happened in 2013-14 and it didn't. Micron even converted some capacity from DRAM to NAMD. That doesn't smell like allocation to me.

    If the yield number is right there WILL be a shortage, but Micron might not benefit from it.
    Mar 31, 2015. 10:52 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Micron: A Tough Quarter Before A Solid Second Half [View article]

    2D NAND, I suppose.
    Mar 31, 2015. 10:32 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Micron: Memory, Oligopolies And Valuation [View article]
    Let go through this one more time.

    8Gb vs. 4Gb - Right now Apple (and maybe others) stack two 4Gb chips in a package in order to get 8Gb or 1GB....the amount of memory that the iPhone uses. The two chip mDRAM package is then mounted on the Ax Application Processor package. That's called a package on package (PoP) module.

    Apple (I am told) currently buy memory wafers and does the two chip assembly themselves. (you might remember the discussion about low Apple ASP because they bought un-packaged parts, margin was OK, but ASP was low) So, there are yield issues assembling two chips in a single package. It would be much easier and lower total cost of ownership to use a single 8Gb chip. Micron doesn't have an 8Gb mDRAM.
    OK, now consider that Apple probably wants to go to 2GB of mDRAM. With 4Gb chips the stacking is now four chips - yields going even further south. With 8Gb chips they are, at least, only back to stacking two chips for the memory package.

    There is no doubt that Micron is significantly behind Samsung on DRAM technology. While Samsung was moving to 20nm Micron was busy and distracted with the Elpida acquisition. If you could do 20nm OR get Elpida, what would you do? Elpida of course. The problem is they will pay a price for that decision.

    Micron is over twice the size and the stock is about 5 times it was when I got involved. They haven't done anything wrong; the market has just overrun the stock price..IMHO. It's not like they are a bad company; they just have some problems to solve and they are not small or short-term problems

    Whoever suggested that they don't have to shutter a fab to re-fit it for 20 nm, please explain to me how you move in, re-arrange, and install equipment in a class 1 cleanroom without stopping production. Intel does it by holding 20% extra fab space in reserve and they move the marbles around without interrupting output. This fab conversion is why Micron guided to down about 10% bits for the 2nd qtr. If bits are down 10% in a qtr, COGS can't follow that quickly, so most of the reduced sales also reduces gross margin. If prices are down on top of that it comes right out of gross margin (and sales)

    They did a node shrink and a density move practically at the same time. Don't confuse memory and logic shrinks. The Samsung DRAM shrink probably gets 70% more bits per wafer. The density move might get 30% more bits per wafer.

    Go listen to some of the presentations that I linked to. IR is admitting that certain DRAM prices are down "10-12%". What we don't know is whether that is an instantaneous price or an average price for the quarter. If it is instantaneous, then q3 will bear the brunt of lower prices. We don't know whether the price declines stopped at the end of the 2nd qtr...probably not.

    Micron will catch up on technology, but they will have to cut price to get some of the business back. They will have to cut price right at the time they are ramping up yield on 20nm (and 8Gb chips) and have relatively high costs on 20nm. They will get through it, but it won't be one more qtr. by the time they get through it they will begin to have real depreciation expense that they haven't had since closing the Elpida deal.

    3D NAND won't be a big factor until 2017, unless Intel decides to build their own, and I don't think any Micron shareholder wants that.
    Mar 31, 2015. 10:18 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Micron: Memory, Oligopolies And Valuation [View article]

    Well, we still have tomorrow. I'm about half way my accumulation. Apr 2 26s should be cheap tomorrow. This is a one day play.

    One of the advantages of being an individual investor is that when the facts change you can do a U-turn on a dime. Institutions and analysts can't do that. They all heard that ASPs were down "10-12%" a couple of weeks ago, but they can't turn around a recommendation overnight...they would look like morons.

    For those of you who are long and think I am a can buy some really cheap insurance in the form of some, say 24 puts for about a dime a share.

    Never know, maybe 35 years in the business taught me something.
    Mar 31, 2015. 08:27 PM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Micron: A Tough Quarter Before A Solid Second Half [View article]

    "Now we go to the Micron 2015 Winter Analyst Presentation slides 73 and 74. Micron’s biggest expansion plan ($4 billion) already underway is in Singapore, where they will be producing their jointly developed (with Intel) technology and “cost” disruptive 3-D NAND in volume by the end of 2015."

    This is simply not true. That expansion of the Singapore fab couldn't be on line until sometime in 2017. They haven't even broken ground yet.

    I talked to IR at both Intel and Micron because I thought the first 3D NAND would be coming from Lehi, UT. I was wrong. Apparently the un-used 40,000 wafer white space in the existing Singapore fab will be built out for early 3D production. The 40,000 wafers would be if used for 2D, at 3D it could probably supply 30,000 wafers to be split between Intel and Micron. That's the production that will begin this year.
    That is mice nuts, with no more coming until 2017...unless the JV can talk Intel into running some 3D wafers in their fabs.

    I love the 3D NAND possibilities, but the fact is that not much happens until 2017. And Samsung isn't standing still.
    Mar 31, 2015. 04:31 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Micron: Memory, Oligopolies And Valuation [View article]
    Hi Phred,

    The Apple thing is a big concern, Micron owned that business and now it is gone.

    Over the past year Samsung has done two things; shrunk to 20nm (maybe a 70% increase in bits) and moved to 8Gb chips (maybe another 30% increase in bits due to not re-producing all the non-memory array silicon) Taken together that is a 90%+ increase in bits.
    The oligopoly is basically one 50% player and two 25% players. The 50% player just increased his bit production by an amount that approximates the size of the other two players. Now the other two will nearly double production. I think this makes for a glut of product, which will bring prices down either slowly or, as in the past, like walking off a cliff.

    The 3D NAND thing is great and I think (think) they win that struggle. 2015 and 2016 will see a minor amount of capacity for 3D NAND. The big capacity doesn't get here until the new Singapore fab comes on in 2017.

    Given all that I don't see a 2nd half recovery for Micron. I see second half DRAM price erosion, offset by a tiny bit of 3D NAND output.
    Mar 31, 2015. 12:54 PM | 5 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • ModernGraham Quarterly Valuation Of Western Digital Corporation [View article]
    Buggy whips.
    Mar 31, 2015. 11:10 AM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Micron: Q2 And The Road Ahead [View article]

    Two major things missing.

    Apple gave the Micron mDRAM business to Samsung. "billions of dollars worth". That doesn't come back maybe ever. They gave Samsung the business because Samsung can supply an 8Gb chip. The iPhone memory is in a package on package (PoP) module. Two 4Gb chip and the AP. If Apple is to go to 2Gb of DRAM they need the 8Gb chip so that the PoP module stay at three packages.

    Any smart phone that will use 1GB of memory or a multiple of that will want 8Gb chips to make things easier and cheaper.

    During the past year Samsung has move a node to 20nm AND introduced the next generation density, both moves dramatically increase bits for Samsung.

    The analysts aren't getting this either. It's like they all just fell off the memory turnip truck.

    3D NAND is wonderful, but absolute mice nuts until sometime in 2017.

    One of the "hold" analysts feels that Micron has lost 200 basis points in total memory market share.
    Mar 30, 2015. 10:03 PM | 4 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Micron: A Tough Quarter Before A Solid Second Half [View article]
    The date for the Earnings call, Apr 2, has disappeared from the Micron website.
    Mar 30, 2015. 03:38 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Micron: The Case Of The Missing PE [View article]
    It's not good or bad, just the way it is. I don't want certificates...too slow.
    Mar 28, 2015. 03:12 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Micron Stock A Buy Despite Rival SanDisk's Lower Forecast [View article]
    I don't know about the "joy" thing.

    I have to ask: what is the EV/EBITDA if the EB is half? That's where it is going.

    Micron forecast sales and bit production down for the second qtr. Since then Apple has awarded Samsung "billions of dollars" of mDRAM business that was Micron's
    Think about that for a minute....Apple will make 200 million iPhones, each with $10 worth of mDRAM...$2 billion. If Apple gave Samsung "billion" of dollars worth of mDRAM, they gave them everything!
    As Tommy of Tommy Boy says, "That'll leave a mark!"
    Micron IR has recently been owning up to price pressure on DRAM (10-12%). Big output of 3D NAND doesn't come until 2017.
    Mar 28, 2015. 10:57 AM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Micron: The Case Of The Missing PE [View article]
    Other than those who get certificates, all shares are owned by institutions
    If your shares are in a street name with your broker, that is an institution.
    Institutional ownership means nothing in the day and age.
    I've seen institutional ownership at over 100% because of short positions.
    Mar 27, 2015. 11:10 AM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Micron: A Tough Quarter Before A Solid Second Half [View article]
    Very perceptive.
    Mar 26, 2015. 08:08 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • More Woes For Intel: Chip, Chip, Chipping Away At Chipzilla [View article]
    Not near term.
    Buy puts on Micron by Apr 2.
    Mar 26, 2015. 10:25 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment