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Micron (MU) Gets Einhorn's Stamp of Approval (Update 1)

Updated from 11:09 a.m. EST to provide Einhorn comments in the third paragraph.

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Micron Technology (MU - Get Report) is shooting up on a vote of support from a financial heavyweight. Speaking at the Robin Hood Investors Conference Thursday morning, Greenlight Capital manager David Einhorn revealed he is long the semiconductor stock. The position would mark a new addition to Greenlight's holdings, as the firm did not list a stake in the company in its most recent third-quarter SEC filing.

Confirming the investment on CNBC, Einhorn rationalized his decision.

"I think it's a business and an industry that's really changing," he said of the company's work in DRAM memory. "What's happened over the years, is it has become such an awful industry that most people have left. It's now consolidated and we're down to three players: Micron, Samsung and Himax.

"You look at the multiples and what their earnings power here can be, we think [Micron's] earnings are going to be a lot better than people think. Next year, maybe $3.50 a share, the following year maybe $4 a share," he said.

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Analysts surveyed by Thomson Reuters anticipate net income of $2.04 a share for fiscal 2014 and $2.18 a share for fiscal 2015.

A favorite of TheStreet's since early October, shares of the Boise, Idaho-based business climbed 6.1% to $19.94. Year to date, the stock has exploded 214.2%, dwarfing the S&P 500's 25.92% gain.

Last week, TheStreet technical expert and Trifecta Stocks portfolio manager Bob Lang revealed what the charts were telling him:

"Micron shows a classic bullish chart pattern that just recently broke out from significant resistance at $18.50. The pattern of higher lows and higher highs since October 2012 is a classic buy-the-dip pattern, indicating buyers are active at each opportunity and that there is strong demand for the stock by institutional players. When the smart or 'big money' is coming after stocks, it is wise to take note and perhaps ride their coat tails."

TheStreet Ratings team rates Micron Technology Inc as a Buy with a ratings score of B. The team has this to say about their recommendation:

"We rate Micron Technology Inc (MU) a BUY. This is driven by several positive factors, which we believe should have a greater impact than any weaknesses, and should give investors a better performance opportunity than most stocks we cover. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, solid stock price performance, impressive record of earnings per share growth, compelling growth in net income and attractive valuation levels. Although no company is perfect, currently we do not see any significant weaknesses which are likely to detract from the generally positive outlook."

Highlights from the analysis by TheStreet Ratings Team goes as follows:

  • The revenue growth greatly exceeded the industry average of 9.4%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues rose by 44.8%. Growth in the company's revenue appears to have helped boost the earnings per share.
  • Powered by its strong earnings growth of 729.16% and other important driving factors, this stock has surged by 245.45% over the past year, outperforming the rise in the S&P 500 Index during the same period. Regarding the stock's future course, although almost any stock can fall in a broad market decline, MU should continue to move higher despite the fact that it has already enjoyed a very nice gain in the past year.
  • Micron Technology Inc reported significant earnings per share improvement in the most recent quarter compared to the same quarter a year ago. The company has demonstrated a pattern of positive earnings per share growth over the past two years. We feel that this trend should continue. During the past fiscal year, Micron Technology Inc turned its bottom line around by earning $1 a share vs. -$1.04 a share in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($2.12 vs. $1).
  • The net income growth from the same quarter one year ago has significantly exceeded that of the S&P 500 and the Semiconductors & Semiconductor Equipment industry. The net income increased by 802.9% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, rising from -$243 million to $1,708 million.

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