Boise's Micron is S&P 500's 2nd-biggest gainer in 2013's boom

Statesman staff and wire reportsDecember 31, 2013 

Micron execs at Nasdaq.JPG

Micron executives at the Nasdaq exchange in August. The company is the best performer on a risk-adjusted basis in the index.

IDAHO STATESMAN FILE

Boise's Micron Technology was the second-biggest gainer in the Standard & Poor's 500 index in 2013 — a banner year for the U.S. stock market.

Shares of the memory-chip maker rose 243 percent, closing Tuesday at $21.75 — up 45 cents for the day.

That's lofty compared with the $1.68 low that Micron reached in 2008. But it's still only a fraction of the $90 peak Micron reached in 2000.

Investors this year bet that Micron, whose business has been plagued historically by excess capacity, will benefit from a consolidation in the industry that has set the stage for more stable prices. CEO Mark Durcan predicted in July that memory chips would become a "much, much better industry" after he completed the $2 billion purchase of Japan's Elpida Memory Inc. After two years of losses, Micron reported profits in its two previous quarters and is expected to be in the black again when it reports its latest earnings next Tuesday.

The year's No. 1 gainer was Netflix, up 298 percent. Best Buy was third, up 237 percent.

The stock market closed out a record year with more all-time highs on Tuesday, giving U.S. indexes their biggest annual gains in almost two decades. The S&P 500 was up 29.6 percent

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