Micron fiscal Q1 revenue, profit beat, forecast crushes expectations as DRAM rises

The company said cited strengthening DRAM trends, but warned NAND makers face a risk of over-supply.

DRAM and NAND flash chip maker Micron Technology this afternoon reported fiscal first quarter revenue and profit that were comfortably ahead of analysts' expectations, and higher than its own updated outlook offered on December 1st.

Micron shares rose two percent in late trading to $80.81. 

CEO Sanjay Mehrotra called the results "outstanding," adding, "We are excited about the strengthening DRAM industry fundamentals."

"For the first time in our history, Micron is simultaneously leading on DRAM and NAND technologies, and we are in an excellent position to benefit from accelerating digital transformation of the global economy fueled by AI, 5G, cloud, and the intelligent edge."

Revenue in the three months ended in November rose to $5.77 billion, yielding EPS of 78 cents. 

That compares to Micron's updated forecast from December 1st for $5.7 to $5.75 billion and 69 cents to 73 cents per share. 

Analysts had been expecting revenue of $5.66 billion and 68 cents a share. 

For the current quarter, the company sees revenue in a range of $5.6 billion to $6 billion, as much as half a billion above the consensus outlook, and EPS of 68 cents to 82 cents per share, also well ahead. 

That compares to consensus for $5.55 billion and 67 cents.

Regarding its forecast for DRAM, in a deck of investor slides, the company now sees this calendar year producing "industry bit demand" for DRAM that will grow "high-teens percentage range" versus what it said in September would be "approximately 20%." 

Versus the prior forecast regarding industry supply, "disciplined industry capex to result in improving market conditions throughout CY-21," the company now says supply is expected "to be below demand."

Analysts have been saying for several weeks now that signs are building of a surge in DRAM demand that could last through this year and into next, providing strength for both Micron and Applied Materials.

On the downside, Micron inserted new language in today's deck that says that the NAND market faces supply above demand, but also said that the "market can stabilize over the course of 2021 if suppliers moderate their product growth."

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Micron's conference call with analysts begins at 2:30 Mountain Time/4:30 Eastern, and you can access it on the company's investor relations Web site.