Memory-maker Micron (NASDAQ:MU) reported its financial results for its fourth fiscal quarter on Oct. 1, following market close. Revenue came in at $3.6 billion, which was slightly ahead of analyst consensus of $3.56 billion. Earnings per share, on a non-Generally Accepted Accounting Principles, or non-GAAP, basis, were $0.37, coming in solidly ahead of analyst estimates of $0.33.
In other words, Micron did a bit better than expected for the quarter.
Looking out ahead, Micron says that it expects revenue of between $3.35 billion and $3.6 billion, with diluted earnings per share (on a non-GAAP basis) of between $0.20 and $0.26. Both of these numbers are missing analyst estimates of $3.74 billion and $0.38 per share, respectively.
With the headline numbers out of the way, let's take a closer look at these results in order to better understand the company's business performance.
The good: mobile and embedded
Micron breaks its financial results down by operating segments. The two that seem to be performing well are the company's mobile and embedded business units.
In mobile, Micron reported revenue of $958 million and operating income of $262 million, implying operating margin of 27.3%. These results were down sequentially, but up nicely year over year from $910 million and $204 million, respectively.
According to the company, helping its results here has been the increase in memory content in mobile devices, as well as a portfolio featuring both DRAM and NAND flash helping to "strengthen [its] competitive position."
Another bright spot for the company was its embedded business unit. In this segment, Micron reported $475 million in revenue, approximately flat to last year's $476 million. However, Micron saw its operating income grow from $77 million in the year-ago period to $104 million, meaning that its operating margins grew from 16.2% to 21.9%.
The bad: computer networking business unit
It is well-known that the PC market, which Micron has significant exposure to, hasn't been in good shape and that trend continued this quarter. Micron's computer networking business unit, which includes sales of DRAM/NAND into the PC market, saw sales decline from $1.514 billion a year earlier to just $1.301 billion, which is 14% lower year over year.
The company said in its investor presentation that its business was negatively affected by lower average-selling prices "driven by continued softness in demand from the PC segment."
Partially offsetting the bad news seen from PCs was, according to the company, "strength in the Enterprise segment." Micron also said that sales into the networking market "continued to be stable."
The ugly: storage business unit
The last of Micron's reportable segments is its storage business unit, or SBU. This segment, per the company's most recently filed 10-Q form, "includes NAND Flash components and [Solid State Drives] sold into enterprise and client storage, cloud, and removable storage markets."
This quarter, Micron reported SBU revenue of $848 million and an operating loss of $46 million. Although the company's results here in the year-ago period weren't great at $907 million in sales and $27 million in operating income, respectively, this quarter's results were even worse.
Micron said in its investor presentation that its next generation 16nm-class TLC NAND (which is slower, but cheaper to make than the more expensive MLC NAND it is currently fielding into this market) has been "qualified with several customers." Once Micron starts ramping TLC NAND to its SBU customers, its gross profit -- and ultimately, operating profit -- margins should expand.
The company also said that it's "continuing to optimize mix of products to mitigate transactional market exposure while serving higher value segments." In a nutshell, Micron is trying to shift away from selling raw NAND into this market and is instead focusing on selling complete solid-state drive solutions to capture the value-add associated with those products.