SAN FRANCISCO -- Times are tough for semiconductor stocks.

But nowhere is the pain more acute than at memory chip maker Qimonda ( QI).

On Wednesday, the company's stock was trading at 19 cents, which means it's down a staggering 98% from its 52-week high.

With the DRAM market suffering one of its worst downturns in years, and some of Qimonda's most attractive assets having recently been snapped up by Micron ( MU), Wall Street seems to have concluded that what's left of Qimonda is essentially worthless.

Qimonda's market cap is now a miniscule $65 million.

Meanwhile, Germany's Infineon Technologies ( IFX), which spun off Qimonda as a separate company in 2006, is having difficulties unloading the 77% stake it still owns in the troubled chipmaker even with its rock-bottom valuation.

On Tuesday, Infineon CEO Peter Bauer reportedly told journalists in Germany that the company is still in negotiations to sell its Qimonda stake. According to a Dow Jones Newswires report, Bauer said there are fewer than five potential buyers, whom he declined to name, for the Qimonda stake.

Qimonda's stock sank 52% on Tuesday, or 21 cents, to close at 19 cents. The stock experience a massive spike in trading volume on Tuesday -- more than 18 times the average volume in the past three months -- which suggests that a large investor may have given up on the stock and dumped its shares.

The company's 52-week high of $9.90 was attained last Oct. 31.

Earlier this month, Micron announced a deal to purchase Qimonda's stake in a DRAM manufacturing joint-venture with Nanya for $400 million.

The deal leaves Qimonda with a pair of chip factories in Virginia, and a fab in Germany. Those assets are not exactly hot properties, given and cost disadvantages of operating a factory in Germany vs. a location in Asia, and the fact that one of Qimonda's fabs in Virginia is based on older-generation 200mm equipment.

As for Qimonda's stock, its new lows could trigger in an additional twist of fate. Under New York Stock Exchange rules, a company has about seven months to trade under $1 before the exchange will move to delist it.

Of course, Qimonda is in such bad shape operationally - the company has lost $2.3 billion so far this year and is cash flow negative - that seven months may be longer than it can survive as a going entity.

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