Continued pricing pressure for memory products hurt Micron Technology's fiscal 1998 and fourth quarter sales and earnings, the company reported Monday.
Boise, Idaho-based Micron posted an annual net loss of $233.7 million, or $1.10 per share, on sales of $3 billion compared with net income of $332.2 million, or $1.55 per share, on revenue of $3.5 billion last year. Results included a $38 million, or 18 cents, after-tax gain on the sale its contract manufacturing subsidiary in the second quarter.
For the fourth quarter of fiscal 1998, sales totaled $692 million and the net loss was $89.1 million, or 42 cents per share vs. sales of $609.9 million and net loss of $106.1 million, or 50 cents per share, for the third quarter of fiscal 1998. In the same period last year, revenue was $946.2 million and earnings were 72.1 million.
Blaming falling average selling prices for the disappointing results, Micron said per megabit prices declined about 60% in fiscal 1998, which followed a 75% drop in fiscal 1997 and a 45% decrease 1996.
Micron's memory output was significantly higher year-over-year because of manufacturing efficiencies and an aggressive transition from .30 micron to .21 line-width devices.
Micron's semiconductor operations gross margin declined to 5% for the year, down significantly from the 39% in the year ago period.