SAN FRANCISCO—Elpida Memory Inc. President Yukio Sakamoto reportedly downplayed talk of a possible merger with Micron Technology Inc. Thursday (Feb. 2) in the wake of his company reporting another huge quarterly loss.
According to a report by the Reuters news service, Sakamoto declined to comment on the rumors concerning a possible merger with Micron, but suggested that Elpida needs be strong independently for any type of merger to be successful.
"If Elpida can't stay solid, I don't think a tie-up would work out well," Reuters quoted Sakamoto as saying.
Elpida (Tokyo) reported sales of 59.8 billion yen (about $784.8 million) for the quarter ended Dec. 31, down 6.6 percent compared to the previous quarter and down 38.4 percent compared to the year-ago period. The company reported a net loss for the period of 42.1 million yen (about $552.6 million) compared to a net loss of 29.6 billion yen for the same period of 2010.
The loss marked Elpida's fifth consecutive quarterly loss, dating back to the second quarter of fiscal 2010.
Elpida blamed the lackluster quarterly results on weak demand for DRAM, partly due to a shortage of hard disk drives for PCs created by the closure of electronics manufacturing facilities in the wake of last year's flooding in Thailand.
Because of the weak DRAM demand, Elpida's average selling price for DRAM during the quarter declined by 4 percent compared to the previous quarter and by 51 percent compared to the year-ago period, the company said. Bit shipments in the quarter decreased 4 percent from the previous quarter—compared to the company's forecast of 5 percent growth—but increased 36 percent from the same period of 2010, Elpida said. The company said it was suspending some production because of the price declines.
South Korea's Hynix Semiconductor Inc. also reported a quarterly loss this week, blamed largely on declining DRAM ASPs.
Elpida said it expects bit growth for its fiscal first quarter, which opened Jan. 1, to be flat to up 5 percent from the previous quarter.
Elpida did not provide a forecast for the full year. Reuters reported that Japanese broadcaster NHK reported that Elpida was likely to post a 120 billion yen (about $1.58 billion) loss for its fiscal year, which closes at the end of March.