NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Concern surrounded Micron's (MU) fiscal second-quarter earnings report that arrived on Thursday. On top of its outsized success for more than a year, could the flash memory giant hold its momentum?
The company didn't disappoint. With year-to-date gains of 12%, and 250% gains since the end of 2012, investors had a lot riding on another strong performance. Larger-than-expected profit was in hand, but you couldn't tell by the initial reaction of stock buyers. Shares closed down 1.44%, to $24 a share, on Thursday.
Helped by a strong recovery in chip prices, Micron reported revenues of $4.11 billion, which grew 2% sequentially and beat estimates by 3%. But on a year-over-year basis, that number trumped last year's mark by 98%. That's not a typo. As with rival Samsung (SSNLF), Micron continues to benefit greatly from a strong resurgence in memory chip prices.
In the case of Micron, it's more than just an improved environment. Management has pushed all the right buttons for the past two years. The company posted 85 cents in adjusted earnings per share. Aside from reversing a year-ago loss of 28 cents, Micron beat consensus estimates by 12%. On a sequential basis, earnings were 10% higher than the January quarter.
After poring over the report, I wasn't able to find a single flaw in execution. Consider, Micron's business is based on flash memory, which consists of non-volatile storage technologies, NAND and NOR, that require no power to retain data. Both work the same but are different in functionality.
NAND, used in devices like MP3 players, retain more storage. By contrast, NOR, used in mobile phones, is faster. Micron arguably perfected this market. But over the past couple of years there have been of struggles. Micron was losing market share to both Samsung and SanDisk (SNDK). Making matters worse, the declining PC industry and soft average selling prices left investors no choice but to bail on the stock.