LONDON – Micron Technology Inc. (Boise, Idaho) made a net loss of $320 million on net sales of $2.2 billion in the third quarter of fiscal 2012, which ended May 31 due to continuing softness in the memory markets, the company said. The result was Micron's fourth sequential loss.
Mark Durcan, the company's CEO, told analysts in a conference call that he believed memory price weakness has reached the bottom of the current business cycle and he expects Micron to enjoy a "following wind" in the second half of 2012.
Durcan also said that the company remains interested in buying Japan's Elpida Memory Inc. as long as a deal can be done under the right terms. Elpida represents 15 to 20 percent of global DRAM industry manufacturing capacity, he said. Durcan said it was important that Micron avoid unnecessary dilution of equity and not incur excessive interest-bearing debt to effect such a deal.
The quarterly net loss of $320 million compared with a $282 million net loss on sales of $2.0 billion in the second fiscal quarter and net income of $75 million on net sales of $2.1 billion for the third quarter of fiscal 2011.
DRAM revenues increased by 20 percent due to a 12 percent increase in bit sales volume and a 7 percent increase in average selling prices. Revenues from sales of NAND flash products were slightly higher in the third quarter of fiscal 2012 compared to the second quarter of fiscal 2012, due primarily to an approximate 40 percent increase in sales volume offset by decreases in average selling prices. Sales of NOR flash products were approximately 10 percent of total net sales for the third quarter of fiscal 2012.
Mark Durcan's predecessor had a good look at Hyuandai Semiconductor when it was "almost" bankrupt in 2002 and could have bought that operation.
But the price, rumored to be between somewhere between $2 billion and $4 billion was considered too high and Steve Appleton walked away from it.
Hyundai, with a lot of good will from banking debtors who became equity holders, has become SK Hynix.
The lesson would appear to be, when it comes to memory, you have to be "all-in."
MIcron appears to be a perpetually loss making machine. In the last 5 FY, they made any profits in only 2. And this FY again it appears to have huge losses. http://www.google.com/finance?q=NASDAQ:MU&fstype=ii
Instead of Elpida, I am wondering how much time does micron have!
The best result for the incumbent DRAM makers might be that nobody buys Elpida, the company is officially wound up and the capacity is taken out of commission.
However, if somebody is going to buy Elpida and get the manufacturing capacity Micron might wish for it to be them to get additional economies of scale.
Ideally Durcan wants to be almost given Elpida so he has to neither borrow money or give away stock to effect the purchase.
No signs from Micron as to how soon they may buy or spurn Elpida. It must be remembered that companies always like to take the chance to look over another company's books even if they won't eventually do a deal.