Micron: From Follower to Leader, Says Susquehanna
Tiernan Ray March 7, 2018 5:42 p.m.
Micron Technology ( MU) is poised to go from being a “follower” in terms of low-cost production of NAND flash to being a “leader,” according to a report this afternoon from Susquehanna’s Mehdi Hosseini.
Hosseini, who has a “Positive” rating on Micron shares, and a $60 price target, writes that his “checks” tell him the company is going to introduce new solid-state drives in the latter half of this year that will make use of flash of the “QLC” variety. Those drives will reduce costs of the drives further, giving the company an edge against competitors — presumably Western Digital ( WDC), for example.
"We remind investors this would presumably make MU the first major storage vendor to bring QLC-based SSDs to market,” writes Hosseini.
The new parts will "help change the MU narrative from a follower to one that leads in lowest NAND bit cost,” he argues. "Cost leadership can also enable MU to become aggressive on market share gains without sacrificing margins."
In addition to using the QLC approach, Hosseini believes this will be the first drive Micron uses its own “controller” chip. The part, design and built by Micron, as opposed to one that had been bought from Marvell Technology Group ( MRVL), "provides for a lower BOM while amplifying cost improvements stemming from the fact that QLC NAND provides nominal density increases of ~33% (vs. TLC)."
Note that Micron will report quarterly results on March 22nd, after market close.
Micron stock today closed up 23 cents at $53.97
Hmmmm.....Micron starting to use its own controllers. Kind of sucks for SIMO.