Why Micron Technology, Inc. Slipped This Morning

While Fools should generally take the opinion of Wall Street with a grain of salt, it's not a bad idea to take a closer look at particularly stock-shaking upgrades and downgrades -- just in case their reasoning behind the call makes sense.

What: Shares of Micron Technology  (NASDAQ: MU  ) fell 2% this morning after RBC Capital downgraded the semiconductor company from Outperform to Sector Perform.

So what: Along with the downgrade, analyst Doug Freedman maintained his price target of $19, representing about 12% worth of downside to yesterday's close. While momentum traders might be attracted to Micron's steady climb over the past year, Freedman believes that pricing headwinds will likely weigh on the stock in 2014.

Now what: RBC thinks that Micron will eventually achieve EPS of $3.00 per year, but that it will come later than Wall Street expects. "[W]e do believe that while NovQ results should prove to be better-than-expected, that risks loom for 1HCY14," noted RBC. "We believe MU's DRAM segment (via Elpida's mobile DRAM exposure) is susceptible to a -30% Q/Q order reduction at Apple in CQ1. ... In addition, we believe that Micron is more susceptible to the recent softness in spot market pricing (vs. SanDisk) as its newer 16nm at Singapore sell into the spot until quality improves and customers qualify." When you couple those seemingly reasonable concerns with Micron's red-hot stock price -- still up more than 200% from its 52-week lows -- it's pretty tough to disagree with RBC's downgrade.

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  • Report this Comment On January 03, 2014, at 10:55 AM, DrGoldin wrote:

    I'm staying on the sidelines for now because I think it's probably going to sag a bit lower, but eventually it's going to be too cheap again and I'll have to get in. If they're really talking about 3.00 EPS, then you can't have a share price down in the neighborhood of 20.

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