Micron's ( MU) profit in its most-recently completed quarter could be as much as $80 million less than initially reported, due to a settlement of litigation with various customers. The Boise, Idaho, chipmaker announced Tuesday that it has settled claims with "direct purchasers" of its DRAM memory chips. The settlement, which is subject to court approval, dismisses Micron from a class action suit against the DRAM industry in California federal court. The suit stems from a 2002 Department of Justice inquiry into price-fixing in the DRAM industry. According to the DOJ, various chipmakers colluded to set prices, directly affecting sales to computer vendors such as Dell ( DELL), Apple ( AAPL) and Hewlett-Packard ( HPQ). The DOJ has collected more than $730 million in fines from companies involved, and obtained guilty pleas from executives at memory makers Samsung, Infineon ( IFX)and Hynix Semiconductor, resulting in prison sentences. Micron said it would provide the full details of the litigation settlement and the earnings revision when it files its 10-Q report for its fiscal first quarter with the Securities and Exchange Commission on Jan. 16. "It is expected that the settlement will result in a reduction of the Company's first quarter of fiscal 2007 earnings previously reported on Dec. 21, 2006, in an amount not to exceed $80 million," Micron said in a statement Tuesday. Micron
beat Wall Street profit estimates by a nickel last month when it initially announced its fiscal first-quarter results. The company said it earned $192 million, or 25 cents a share, on $1.58 billion in revenue in the three months ended Nov. 30, 2006. Shares of Micron closed Tuesday down 7 cents to $13.67.