Some new opportunities will expose you to new problems, too. Conversely, some clouds truly do have a silver lining. Memory and portable consumer electronics maven Micron Technology
Let's start with the bad news. The just-reported second quarter is a seasonally slow period for the company, as the gangbusters back-to-school and major holiday seasons are both far, far away on the calendar.
So when Micron stepped out of its traditional memory business and into consumer electronics, the company entered a promising new market where competitors like SanDisk
But it made the seasonality worse. The kids want music players for Christmas.
As if that wasn't enough, there's a well-documented lack of demand for high-end cell phones right now, which hurts sales of flash memory and digital camera sensor chips, both of which are parts of Micron's core portfolio. It might not add up to a perfect storm, but it does add up to a pretty decent one, and we're unlikely to see a worse quarter out of Micron -- or its main competitors -- anytime soon.
Which leads me to the good news. In the attendant conference call, management said things are looking up. For one thing, demand is picking up for computers that can run the new Microsoft
So when SMART Modular Technologies
It's a good development for other memory makers, too, of course. However, memory chips are Micron's bread and butter, while the other major players, like Toshiba and Samsung, have, let's say, a few other balls in the air.
In short, we're probably looking at the bottom of this cycle for Micron, and the company is well-positioned to benefit from the expected upswing. It's certainly on my value-play watch list now.
Microsoft and Wal-Mart are pretty good values, too. In fact, both are official Motley Fool Inside Value selections. Get the full scoop with a free 30-day trial subscription.
Fool contributor Anders Bylund holds no position in any of the companies discussed here, but he buys all his groceries at Target. You can check out Anders' holdings if you like, and Foolish disclosure is always memorable.