SAN FRANCISCOSaying the market remains challenging but is beginning to improve, memory chip vendor Micron Technology Inc. reported Tuesday (Sept. 29) a net loss of $88 million for the quarter ended Sept. 3, down from a net loss of $290 million in the prior quarter and a net loss of $344 million in the year-ago quarter.
Micron (Boise, Idaho) reported fiscal fourth quarter sales of $1.3 billion, up 17 percent from the prior quarter but down 10 percent compared to the year-ago quarter.
Micron's fiscal fourth quarter numbers came in ahead of consensus analyst expectations, which called for revenue of $1.24 billion and a loss of 22 cents per share, according to Yahoo Finance.
For fiscal 2009, also ended Sept. 3, Micron posted a net loss of $1.8 billion, or $2.29 per diluted share, on net sales of $4.8 billion. Comparatively, Micron for fiscal 2008 reported a net loss of $1.62 billion, or $2.10 per share, on sales of $5.84 billion.
"The market, while still challenging, is beginning to improve," said Steve Appleton, Micron chairman and CEO, in a statement.
Average selling prices (ASPs) for memory chipsparticularly DRAMhave been on the rise in recent weeks after months of declines. This rise, blamed on tighter manufacturing capacity, has helped to boost the fortunes of memory IC vendors such as Micron and others.
Revenue from DRAM sales increased 28 percent in the fourth quarter compared to the third quarter due to a 19 percent increase in sales volumes and an 8 percent increase in ASPs, Micron said.
Revenue from sales of NAND products increased 10 percent in the fourth quarter compared to the third quarter due to a 23 percent increase in sales volumes, according to the company. This was partially offset by an 11 percent decrease in ASPs resulting primarily from reduced manufacturing costs associated with products sold to Intel Corp., the company's NAND flash manufacturing partner, Micron said.
Micron said its gross margin on sales of memory products continued to improve from 11 percent in the fiscal third quarter to 12 percent in the fiscal fourth quarter.