Micron jumps post-earnings; SanDisk also up

|About: Micron Technology Inc. (MU)|By:, SA News Editor

Micron's (MU +4.9%) FQ4 guidance "clearly confirms up-cycle or record-high profit for not only FQ4-14 but also FY15," says BofA/Merrill, reiterating a Buy (following a 2-notch upgrade earlier in June) and hiking its PT by $3 to $43.

BofA declares Micron's strategy, which includes ramping SSD (previous) and mobile DRAM sales, has "little execution risk." Its PT is equal to 14x FY15 (ends Aug. '15) EPS.

Needham has upgraded shares to Strong Buy. It admits FQ3 gross margin was "slightly below expectations" amid growing NAND controller/firmware investments (SSD-related), but considers the spending justified.

RBC, which upgraded Micron in May, once more calls the company a long-term play on the memory industry's structural changes (echoes of David Einhorn). Summit Research observes strong server DRAM sales (boosted by Web/cloud and big data demand) are providing a lift.

But with shares up over 6x from their fall 2012 lows, there are also some contrarian views. Morgan Stanley wants "a better entry point," given Micron is at 10x the firm's peak EPS estimate. Susquehanna thinks Micron has a ways to go in improving its controller/firmware tech, and that a partnership or acquisitions might be needed. Pac Crest argues SanDisk (SNDK +1.1%) has a technology edge for 3-bit (TLC) NAND.

Micron stated on its CC (transcript) it'll take a "measured and prudent" approach to FY15 capex. The company also reiterated it expects DRAM supply and demand to be balanced, and thinks NAND supply growth could fall going into 2016 due to challenges related to 3D NAND upgrades.