Wall Street isn't jumping out of its shoes for Micron (MU - Get Report) shares the morning after a strong third quarter earnings report in which the chip maker beat estimates on both top and bottom lines, but issued weaker-than-expected guidance.
The stock was rising 12.38% to $36.72 a share in early trading on Wednesday.
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Micron reported adjusted earnings per share of $1.05, well above analyst estimates of 80 cents. Revenue was $4.79 billion, ahead of expectations of $4.69 billion. But management guided for EPS of 45 cents in the fourth quarter, below expectations of 61 cents.
Management is cutting capital expenditures for 2020, as oversupply of NAND and DRAM chips continue to be a headwind to pricing, something that analysts were quick to flag as a reason for caution on the stock.
Here's what analysts said:
Needham, Upgrade From Hold to Buy, Price Target $50
"The company has seen normalizing inventory levels in the cloud, graphics, and PC end markets, as customers digest excess inventory," analyst Rajvindra Gill wrote. "Another significant tailwind is MU's resumption of shipments of certain products to Huawei in the last 2 weeks. With an improved DRAM outlook for C2H19, significant CAPEX cuts coming in FY20, and a stabilizing book value per share of $31.89 (trading at trough P/B multiple of ~1x), we believe there's limited downside risk over the next 6-12 months."
Susquehanna Financial, Neutral, Price Target $30
"MU's report/guide exceeded our estimates (but helped by a resumption of sales of some products to Huawei), however the underlying memory fundamentals remain unchanged (perhaps have worsened), as inventories continue to rise, while the demand backdrop remains full of uncertainty," analyst Mehdi Hosseini wrote in a note. "As such, we remain on the sidelines until we gain confidence around supply/demand dynamics."
Goldman Sachs, Neutral, Price Target Raised From $37 to $40
"We continue to believe that fundamentals could be challenged in the near-term due to record inventory levels (both at Micron and its competitors; Exhibits 1-2), as well as weak end unit demand in key end markets such as smartphones and servers," analyst Mark Delaney wrote. "Micron stated that there have been signs of volume recovery in the DRAM market, however elevated DRAM inventory at memory companies continues to weigh on pricing."
Still, "We raise our FY19/20/21 EPS estimates (including SBC) to $6.08/$1.49/$4.75 from $5.63/$0.75/$3.65 driven primarily by higher bit growth assumptions in both DRAM and NAND. We raise our 12-month price target to $40 (from $37) based on 7X (unchanged) applied to normalized EPS of $5.75."
Stifel, Buy, Price Target Lowered From $54 to $52
"Inventory remains elevated in mobile and Enterprise markets," analyst Kevin Cassidy said. "Based on customer forecasts, targeted free cash flow metrics and maintaining a healthy balance sheet, management guided FY20 CapEx meaningfully below FY2019. We estimate ~$8bn. In our view, this is a significant change in behavior and counter to the MU bear case that has the company losing money as it fights for market share/cost competitiveness," Cassidy said.
"Our revised revenue and non-GAAP EPS estimates are at the mid-point of guidance or $4.50bn/$0.45, which compare to our prior estimates of $4.68bn/$0.84. Our 12-month target price of $52 is based on 10x our FY20 non-GAAP EPS estimate."
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