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Why Micron Technology Inc. Stock Gained 36% So Far in 2017

By Anders Bylund - Jul 5, 2017 at 2:47PM

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The memory chip market is enjoying a rare combination of high demand and supplier discipline, driving prices higher.

What happened

Shares of Micron Technology (MU 1.50%) rose 36.2% in the first half of 2017, according to data from S&P Global Market Intelligence.

So what

Micron is enjoying the upswing in the highly cyclical memory chip market, a rise propelled by disciplined supply-side manufacturing volumes across the industry and strong demand for both DRAM and NAND products. Chip prices have not just stabilized, but actually risen in recent quarters and are expected to climb even higher in the second half of 2017. As a result, after a 2016 for which Micron reported weak sales and modest bottom-line losses, sales have nearly doubled year over year in 2017 to produce Street-beating earnings .

DDR4 RAM modules.

Image source: Getty Images.

Now what

This positive market cycle appears to have legs, as Micron and its shrinking list of major rivals continue to resist the temptation to flood the market with cheap memory solutions.

Rosenblatt analyst Hans Mosesmann expects Micron's share prices to double from their current levels:

"The duration and nature of this cycle is set to be the best memory cycle in the semiconductor industry and we like the very balanced [supply/demand] dynamic with some markets quite strong but some not so much," Mosesmann wrote in a reaction to Micron's third-quarter earnings report.

In other words, the company is in control of its own destiny for the time being, and management is making the most of that opportunity. Share prices have increased more than 150% over the last 52 weeks, and it still looks like blue skies ahead for us Micron shareholders.

Anders Bylund owns shares of Micron Technology. The Motley Fool has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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