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Micron (MU) Beats on Q4 Earnings, Stock Down on Bleak Outlook

Micron's (MU) Q4 results reflect solid demand for its memory chips used in phones and computers as well as the positive impact of the impressive auto...

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This story originally appeared on Zacks

Micron Technology MU reported stellar results for fourth-quarter fiscal 2021, wherein the top and bottom lines surpassed the respective Zacks Consensus Estimate and marked solid year-over-year improvements as well.

- Zacks

The company’s fiscal fourth-quarter non-GAAP earnings per share of $2.42 beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $2.33. In addition, the non-GAAP earnings registered year-over-year growth of a whopping 124%. Quarterly revenues of $8.27 billion outpaced the consensus mark of $8.21 billion and increased about 37% from the year-ago quarter’s $6.06 billion.

Despite the overwhelming fiscal fourth-quarter results, shares of the memory chip maker fell 3.6% in the extended trading session on Tuesday due to a disappointing first-quarter fiscal 2022 outlook. The company anticipates revenues of $7.65 billion (+/-$200 million) for the fiscal first quarter, which is way below the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $8.64 billion.

During its earnings conference call, Micron warned that bit shipments for the DRAM and NAND memory chips are set to decline in the fiscal first quarter as PC manufacturers are adjusting their memory and storage purchases due to the shortage of other components to complete PC assembling. Furthermore, the company is witnessing supply constraints for certain IC components, which is expected to somewhat negatively impact bit shipments in the near term.

For the fiscal first quarter, Micron projects non-GAAP gross margin of 47% (+/-100 bps). Operating expenses on a non-GAAP basis are estimated to be $915 million (+/-$25 million).

Adjusted earnings per share are anticipated to be $2.10 (+/-10 cents). The consensus mark is pegged at $2.70 per share.

Micron Technology, Inc. Price, Consensus and EPS Surprise Micron Technology, Inc. Price, Consensus and EPS Surprise

Micron Technology, Inc. price-consensus-eps-surprise-chart | Micron Technology, Inc. Quote

Q4 Revenue Details

DRAM revenues of $6.09 billion, accounting for 74% of the total revenues in the fiscal fourth quarter, jumped 39%, year over year, and 12%, sequentially. Bit shipments grew in the low-single-digit percentage range sequentially, while ASPs increased in the high-single-digit percentage range on a quarter-on-quarter basis.

NAND revenues of $1.97 billion, representing 24% of the total top line, were up 29% on a year-over-year basis and 9%, quarter on quarter. While NAND ASP increased in the mid-single-digit percentage band, bit shipments grew in the low-single-digit percentage range, sequentially.

Business-unit wise, revenues of the computing and networking business (CNBU) unit climbed 26% from the year-ago quarter and 15% sequentially to $3.79 billion. The company noted that revenue growth was mainly driven by strong performance across the data center and graphics markets.

Revenues of $1.89 billion from the Mobile Business Unit (MBU) climbed 29% on a year-over-year basis but declined 5%, sequentially. This year-over-year improvement was chiefly backed by healthy demand in the mobile market as 5G handset sales continue to shoot up.

The Embedded Business Unit (EBU) revenues logged in $1.36 billion, up 108% from the year-ago period and 23% from the previous quarter, primarily aided by strong demand across the automotive and industrial markets.

Revenues from the Storage Business Unit (SBU), comprising SSD NAND components, totaled $1.20 billion, up 32%, year on year, and 19%, sequentially. This year-over-year growth was mainly supported by robust SSD demand from data-center customers. The company noted that its QLC shipments set new records in terms of percentage of the NAND shipments.

Margins

Micron’s non-GAAP gross profit of $3.96 billion surged 87.8%, year on year, and 24.5%, sequentially. The non-GAAP gross margin improved to 48% from the prior quarter’s 43% and the year-ago quarter’s 35%, chiefly on increase in the DRAM and NAND prices.

Micron’s non-GAAP operating income of $3.07 billion soared 136%, year over year, and 30%, sequentially. The non-GAAP operating margin expanded to 37% from the year-earlier quarter’s 21% and the previous quarter’s 32%, primarily on higher gross margin and lower operating expenses as a percentage of revenues.

The non-GAAP operating expenses came in at $891 million compared with the previous quarter’s $821 million and the year-ago quarter’s $809 million. As a percentage of revenues, operating expenses for the fiscal fourth quarter came in at 10.8% compared with the previous quarter’s 11.1% and the year-ago quarter’s 13.4%.

Fiscal 2021 Result Highlights

Micron’s fiscal 2021 revenues increased 29% year over year to $27.71 billion and surpassed the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $27.64 billion. The company reported adjusted earnings of $6.06 per share, 114% higher than the fiscal 2020 non-GAAP earnings of $2.83. Moreover, the fiscal 2021 adjusted earnings beat the consensus mark of $5.97 per share.

Balance Sheet and Cash Flow

The company exited the reported quarter with cash and investments of $10.5 billion compared with the $9.8 billion recorded at the end of the prior quarter. Furthermore, it ended the quarter with a total liquidity of $13 billion compared with the $12.3 billion witnessed at the end of the fiscal third quarter.

Micron’s long-term debt as of Jun 3, 2021 was $6.62 billion compared with the $6.42 billion witnessed at the end of the fiscal third quarter.

The company generated operating cash flow of $3.9 billion during the fiscal fourth quarter and free cash flow of $1.9 billion. During fiscal 2021, the company generated operating and free cash flow of $12.5 billion and $2.8 billion, respectively.

Zacks Rank & Key Picks

Micron currently carries a Zacks Rank #4 (Sell).

Better-ranked stocks in the broader technology sector include Microsoft MSFT, STMicroelectronics N.V.  STM, and NVIDIA Corporation NVDA, all carrying a Zacks Rank of 2 (Buy), at present. You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.

The long-term earnings growth rate for Microsoft, STMicroelectronics, and NVIDIA is currently pegged at 11.1%, 5%, and 19.5%, respectively.



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