What To Watch In Micron's Earnings Report

Micron (MU) is scheduled to report results of its fiscal second quarter after the market close on March 31, with a conference call scheduled for 4:30 pm ET. What to watch for:

1. OUTLOOK: Earlier this month, Micron raised its first-quarter adjusted earnings per share view to 93c-98c from 68c-82c, with consensus at 79c. The company also raised its revenue view to $6.2B-$6.25B from $5.6B-$6.0B, with consensus at $5.86B.

2. TARGET RAISE AHEAD OF RESULTS: On Monday, BMO Capital analyst Ambrish Srivastava raised the firm's price target on Micron to $90 from $80 but kept a Market Perform rating on the shares ahead of quarterly earnings. The analyst believes the company's fundamentals remain strong and memory pricing - particularly for DRAM - continues to strengthen. Srivastava also raised his fiscal year 2021 earnings per share view to $5.17 from $3.95 and fiscal year 2022 to $10.15 from $7.40, though his maintained neutral stance reflects his "reluctance to chase" the stock price heading into "peak" earnings.

3. SHIFT AWAY FROM 3D XPOINT: On March 16, Micron provided an update on its data center portfolio strategy. The company said it will increase investment in new memory products that leverage the Compute Express Link, the recently introduced industry-standard interface that enables flexible connection between compute, memory and storage. Micron also said it has ceased development of 3D XPoint and shifted resources to focus on accelerating market introduction of CXL-enabled memory products. The company has determined that there is insufficient market validation to justify the ongoing high levels of investments required to successfully commercialize 3D XPoint at scale to address the evolving memory and storage needs of its customers. In line with this new strategic focus, Micron is engaged in discussions for the sale of its Lehi, Utah, fab currently dedicated to 3D XPoint production. The company aims to reach a sale agreement within calendar year 2021. These actions may result in certain nonrecurring items in the company's GAAP financial results but are expected to be accretive to Micron's near-term and long-term non-GAAP financial performance.

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