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Micron Technology stock downgraded by Aletheia Capital amid HBM3E execution concerns

EditorEmilio Ghigini
Published 06/21/2024, 08:36 AM
© Reuters

On Friday, Micron Technology, Inc. (NASDAQ:MU) experienced a shift in market sentiment as Aletheia Capital adjusted its stance on the stock, downgrading it from Buy to Hold.

The change in rating follows a significant appreciation in Micron's share price since November 2023, with the stock now trading above its historical price-to-book ratio (PBR) of 2.5x.

The downgrade was prompted by several factors, including challenges with the execution of Micron's High Bandwidth (NASDAQ:BAND) Memory 3E (HBM3E), which could potentially affect the company's revenue targets and profitability in the near term.

The analyst noted that issues with HBM3E might lead to a key customer having to reschedule the commercial shipment of new products, which could delay Micron's progress in regaining confidence in its HBM offering. Consequently, Aletheia Capital has retracted its previous $500 million revenue projection for Micron's HBM for the fiscal year 2024 estimate (FY24E).

Another concern for Micron is the anticipated increase in capital expenditures (capex) required to expand capacity in fiscal years 2025 and 2026. The firm pointed out that Micron's capex has been stagnant or even declining since the calendar year 2021, which could imply a need for significant investment to meet future demands.

Despite these challenges, the analyst acknowledged the positive aspects of Micron's business, including the continuous upward trend of memory average selling prices (ASP), strong demand for HBM from AI servers, and recent upward earnings revisions. Additionally, Micron's free cash flow (FCF) turned positive for the first time since the first quarter of fiscal year 2023.

The combination of these factors led to Aletheia Capital's decision to withdraw its price target of $120.00 for Micron Technology. Investors and market watchers will be closely monitoring how Micron addresses these execution and capacity expansion challenges in the coming months.

In other recent news, Micron Technology has been the focus of numerous analyst upgrades. Wells Fargo maintained an Overweight rating on the company and increased the price target to $190, reflecting confidence in the company's earning potential.

Similarly, Fox Advisors raised their price target on Micron shares to $185, while Stifel increased their price target for Micron to $165. UBS also raised its target to $155 based on upward industry trends for DRAM and NAND memory.

These recent developments follow the anticipation of Micron's third-quarter fiscal year 2024 earnings report. Analysts from Wells Fargo, Fox Advisors, Stifel, and UBS cite a combination of structural and secular factors, positive results in the company's upcoming fiscal third-quarter report, optimism about memory pricing conditions, and upward industry trends for DRAM and NAND memory as the basis for their bullish outlooks.

On the legal front, Micron Technology was ordered to pay $445 million to Netlist (OTC:NLST) in a patent dispute. This decision can potentially triple due to the finding of willful infringement.

Additionally, the New York Independent Grid Operator raised concerns over potential energy supply shortfalls, which could affect energy-intensive projects like the Micron NY Semiconductor plant. These are the recent developments surrounding Micron Technology.

InvestingPro Insights

Following Aletheia Capital's recent downgrade of Micron Technology, Inc. (NASDAQ:MU), investors may be weighing the mixed signals surrounding the company's performance and outlook. Real-time data from InvestingPro sheds light on some key metrics. Micron's market capitalization stands at a robust $159.67 billion. Despite facing revenue challenges, with a year-over-year decline of 20.6%, the company has seen a striking one-year price total return of 120.42%, reflecting a strong market confidence in its long-term prospects.

InvestingPro Tips highlight that Micron has raised its dividend for three consecutive years, signaling a commitment to shareholder returns despite recent profitability concerns. Analysts remain optimistic about sales growth in the current year, and there have been nine upward earnings revisions for the upcoming period, which could indicate a positive shift in market expectations. Additionally, Micron is recognized as a prominent player in the Semiconductors & Semiconductor Equipment industry, which may bode well for its competitive positioning.

For readers looking to delve deeper into Micron's financial health and future prospects, InvestingPro offers further insights and analysis. By using the coupon code PRONEWS24, readers can get an additional 10% off a yearly or biyearly Pro and Pro+ subscription, which includes access to a comprehensive list of over 16 additional InvestingPro Tips for Micron Technology.

This article was generated with the support of AI and reviewed by an editor. For more information see our T&C.

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