MEMORY MAKER Micron reported a $320m loss for its third quarter as tight NAND flash memory margins started to bite.
Micron, which is in the midst of talks with bankrupt memory maker Elpida, announced third quarter financial results that once again highlight the troubled times memory makers are living through. The firm announced that while its sales were marginally up to $2.17bn from the same time last year, it managed to post a loss of $320m compared to a profit of $75m a year previously.
Interestingly, Micron said its DRAM business was doing pretty well, citing a 20 per cent increase in sales and even a seven per cent increase in average selling price compared to the previous quarter. However even though the firm claimed an increase in sales of NAND products - typically solid state disk (SSD) drives - margins were falling.
Micron's aggressive push into the SSD market has seen some of its Crucial branded SSD drives become great value propositions, with strong competition in the market leading most players to cut prices. However the firm's announcement that NAND flash margins are falling would certainly align with its one-time NAND partner Intel slowly edging out of the NAND business, as it historically prefers to deal in high margin products.
NAND margins aside, Micron's announcement that its DRAM margins are increasing will be good news for the semiconductor industry, with firms such as Hynix and even Samsung suffering one of the longest DRAM price droughts in years. µ