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Is It Time To Sell This Chip Supplier?

Chris Lau, Kapitall: After rising nearly 99% in 2013, Micron Technology (MU) share slipped lower this month by 11%. Investors worry that demand for the company's NAND flash memory will weaken, driven by lower smartphone demand. If anything, the decline could create an entry point for investors looking for exposure in the smartphone supply market.

[Read more from Chris Lau: Look at this Buying Opportunity after Linn Energy Drops]

SanDisk (SNDK), Rambus (RMBS), and Broadcom (BRCM) all dropped in sympathy in recent sessions.

However, the fundamentals for Micron did not deteriorate. The company acquired Elpida, bolstering its overall market share. Contrary to market worries, demand for smartphones has yet to weaken. Prices for memory are also stable. Micron is entering a 16 nanometer flash memory development, too. This will enable Micron to be the manufacturer of the world’s smallest flash memory devices for 128-gigabit memory. Production for the memory will begin in the last quarter of this year, and shipment will start in 2014.

Negativity by Association

Broadcom is down for a separate reason. The company was downgraded by seven analysts after the company reported first quarter earnings that missed on revenue. Broadcom also gave light guidance. During the last quarter, the company said that sales for its combo and networking chip were strong. Mobile baseband chip sales were softening, due to competition from Qualcomm (QCOM) and MediaTek (TWSE:2454).

Rambus dropped slightly in recent days, but the company is not facing any troubles. Last quarter, the company earned $0.06 per share on revenue of $57.9 million. In June, the company settled and established a patent licensing deal with STMicroelectronics (STM).

Access company snapshots for the stocks mentioned in this article. 

Conclusion

Smartphone demand remains in an upward trajectory. Growth rates may lessen in the quarter ahead, but should pick up as consumers buy or upgrade smartphones during the back-to-school session. Retailers and carriers may boost promotions for devices, helping memory suppliers like Micron Technology.

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