Goldman Cuts Micron To Hold With DRAM Price Momentum Seen Slowing

Goldman Sachs downgraded Micron (MU) to Neutral from Buy, saying that its thesis on the stock "has largely materialized." The firm also removed the stock form its Americas Buy List. Micron develops flash memory products.

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CATALYST MATERIALIZED: The stock's positive catalyst "has largely materialized," wrote Goldman analyst Mark Delaney. When Goldman Sachs added the stock to its Americas Buy List on February 28, it believed that the company could beat analysts' consensus earnings per share estimates by a significant amount, Delaney wrote. Since then, consensus EPS estimates for the company's fiscal 2017 and fiscal 2018 results have jumped by 70% and 72%, respectively, the analyst stated. Delaney's 2017 EPS estimate for Micron is 5% above consensus levels, but his fiscal 2018 EPS estimate is 23% below the consensus number, he stated.

FLASH MEMORY PRICES: The rally in DRAM prices "is in the middle to latter stages," according to Delaney. After speaking with sources in the sector, the analyst believes that the momentum of DRAM spot prices is slowing, while NAND spot price momentum is slowing to a lesser extent. Additionally, given large increases in spending on flash memory production in recent quarters, prices for the commodity should become "more normal" in the second half of this year and in 2018, Delaney predicted.

TARGET: The analyst trimmed his price target on Micron shares to $30 from $32.

PRICE ACTION: In early trading, Micron fell 1.3% to $27.84.


Disclosure: None.

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