SAN FRANCISCO -- Times are tough for semiconductor stocks.
But nowhere is the pain more acute than at memory chip maker
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
, 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.
, 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.