But today, the stock jumped as much as 6.6% thanks to an upgrade from Citi analyst Glen Yeung. In a fresh research report, Yeung upped Micron from hold to buy while keeping the price target steady at $7 per share.
The upgrade also sparked trading interest across Micron's sector. SanDisk
Yeung sees plenty of downside risk but also a very attractive price. Another recession would sink the stock like a battleship anchor, but "house economic views" at Citi point in the other direction; if that's correct, Yeung sees a 79% upside potential, which works out to about $9 a share.
So we're talking about $7 as a risk-adjusted target. The biggest risk out there is a pending antitrust lawsuit, where Rambus is seeking treble damages on about $4 billion of estimated lost revenue, or $13 billion in all. Yeung expects a settlement for no more than $900 million. That would be manageable with Micron's cash-flow potential and cash in the bank. A full $13 billion damages judgment, on the other hand, would do some serious harm.
Micron's rewards outweigh the risks today in Yeung's opinion, and I would agree. In our free report "5 Stocks The Motley Fool Owns -- and You Should, Too," we highlight another high-tech leader that our analyst believes is one of the strongest ways to profit in smartphone growth in China and beyond. Get your copy of the report -- it's free!
Fool contributor Anders Bylund owns shares of Micron but holds no other position in any of the companies discussed here. We Fools don't all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. You can check out Anders' holdings and a concise bio, follow him on Twitter or Google+, or peruse our Foolish disclosure policy.