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Micron reports $244m loss as NOR flash margins tighten

Sees a small rise in NAND and DRAM
Fri Mar 23 2012, 13:51

MEMORY VENDOR Micron reported a loss of $244m, the second successive quarter of losses as profit margins were squeezed.

Micron's second quarter earnings showed the firm's sales falling by eight per cent with revenues of $2.06bn for the three months up to 1 March 2012. With the firm keeping costs in check, lower sales led to a loss of $244m, slightly exceeding the drop in revenues.

Micron laid the blame for the loss on tightening margins in its NOR flash memory business. The firm said 11 per cent of its sales came from NOR flash memory, while it was keen to point out that revenues from NAND and DRAM chips were up slightly in its first fiscal quarter of 2012.

Recently Micron signed a deal with Intel to buy back two NAND flash fabs for $600m. While Micron has more than enough cash to complete the deal, given its comments about NOR flash memory margins tightening, it could be looking to expand its NAND operations to dilute its exposure to the dwindling NOR business.

Micron's statement about steady demand for its DRAM modules comes as Japanese memory giant Elpida is fighting bankruptcy. Micron has been mentioned as a possible buyer, but with the DRAM market best described as flat-lined, it would be a brave move to bet big on DRAM now. µ


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