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Micron Raises Earnings Estimates - Shares Climb

For the quarter ending Thursday, Micron estimates revenue at $5.2 billion to $5.4 billion, up from the prior forecast of $4.6 billion to $5.2 billion.

Micron Technology  (MU) - Get Micron Technology, Inc. (MU) Report shares rose Wednesday, after the chipmaker raised its earnings estimates for the fiscal third quarter ending Thursday.

The Boise, Idaho, company now estimates revenue at $5.2 billion to $5.4 billion, up from the prior forecast of $4.6 billion to $5.2 billion.

And it estimates non-GAAP earnings per share at 75 cents to 80 cents, compared with the previous projection of 40 cents to 70 cents.

The company forecast GAAP earnings per share of 61 cents to 66 cents for the fiscal third quarter and a GAAP gross margin of 32% to 33%.

Micron made the estimates in a Securities and Exchange Commission filing. It did not give a reason for the increased outlook.

Micron’s last guidance came in late March.

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Last month, Goldman Sachs downgraded Micron’s stock to neutral from buy, saying the company's valuation then fully reflected its growth prospects.

The stock then (April 12) traded at $46.13. It at last check stood at $48.89, up 6.7%. It has gained 10% over the past month.

Goldman lowered its price target on Micron to $49 a share from its previous view of $60.

While analyst Toshiya Hari still had a bullish long-term outlook for the industry, increased competition in the highly concentrated DRAM market could mean market share retraction for big players like Micron, he said.

"In the longer term we see risk of China entering the DRAM market too, and DRAM can also be manufactured for trailing edge applications," Hari wrote in a commentary.

He’s also "cognizant of the view that potential weakness in smartphones could derail the pricing recovery that we forecast."

Hari said, "we would await capital expenditure cuts by Micron and/or its competitors before considering becoming more constructive."