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Micron's Heading to $22: Opinion

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- I've never thought it was possible a company can have its stock triple in value in less than a year without analysts going berserk, revising their estimates and clamoring for more coverage.

Yet, somehow Micron (MU), whose stock is up 160% year to date and has soared 220% in the trailing 11 months, still remains a mystery. So it goes the nature of the semiconductor sector

Even though Micron has outperformed virtually every other name in the chip group, it is Qualcomm (QCOM), Broadcom (BRCM) and Intel (INTC) that garners the lion's share of the market's attention. I can go into many reasons to explain this, but it won't matter. However, Micron, which has shown a strategic shift to higher growth markets like network enterprise, server and mobile, had always remained on my radar.

With shares now resting near its 52-week high of $17, I don't believe Micron can remain anonymous much longer, especially with the company due to report fiscal fourth-quarter earnings on Thursday. The Street will be looking for 23 cents in earnings per share on revenue of $2.7 billion, representing year-over-year growth of 37.4%.

To the extent Micron can beat these estimates while demonstrating improved cash flow and margin expansion, I believe the stock will make its way to $20 per share before the end of the year. I will grant that $20 does seem an aggressive target for a stock that's already more than doubled on the year. But it's not the first time that I've been right about Micron and how its management team continues to be underestimated.

If you recall, back in June, amid much disagreement, I told you the stock was heading to $15. This is even though there were still uncertainties about bankrupt chipmaker Elipida, which Micron acquired last year. Given that the stock (at the time) had more-than doubled -- posting gains of 116%, it seemed like a tall order.

It was clear, though, that investors were unable to reconcile what Micron is. There was also some confusion regarding the company's market direction. This is a sentiment that I don't believe has been sufficiently resolved, although management has been (in my opinion) clear about what it wants to do.

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