Micron, whose business is based on flash memory, consists of NOR and NAND, non-volatile storage technologies that requires no power to retain data. NOR and NAND are two separate memory standards that go into products like MP3 players and mobile phones. The only difference between the two standards and in which device they are used, is the storage capacity the device would require.
Unfortunately for Micron, while the memory market has (as expected) been highly volatile, it has been anything but "memorable." Over time, formidable rival like Applied Materials (AMAT) and SanDisk (SNDK) have chipped away at Micron's lead. This is even though Micron (arguably) perfected market. When Samsung entered the market and began growing share on the strength on its smartphones, Micron's margins and pricing power began to get squeezed.
Making matters worse, the personal computer industry, on which Micron relies for its DRAM business (dynamic random access memory), began to decline. It was at that point management took additional risks to turn the company's fortunes around. One of these bets was on Elipida, an acquisition that is expected to close at some point during this quarter.
There were many who disagreed, but even though Elipida had entered bankruptcy, I believe it was a worthwhile gamble fro Micron, especially since Apple (AAPL) was using roughly 80% to Elipida's memory capacity. With the stock on a perpetual decline with no end to the bleeding in sight, Micron had nothing to lose and everything to gain. That's exactly what the stock has done over the past the year, helped by revenue that rose almost 12% sequentially and rose 7% year-over-year in the June quarter.Micron is certainly not out of the woods yet. But what I do see is a company that is doing everything possible to return value to shareholders. In that regard, I don't believe there is another company that has done so (relatively) better over the past year. With evidence of improving margins and stronger pricing power, this stock can certainly reach $22 by the end of the year. At the time of publication, the author held shares of Apple. Follow @saintssense This article was written by an independent contributor, separate from TheStreet's regular news coverage.
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