The last time Micron Technology Inc.’s stock was priced this high, there was no Facebook. No iPhone — not even an iPod. Mark Zuckerberg was in high school. “Shrek” was playing at the movies.
It was June 2001. The memory-chip maker was Boise’s biggest employer, with about 12,000 employees here, almost twice as many as the 6,800 it has now. Micron’s Boise plant was still churning out the 8-inch round wafers from which chips were cut in those days — work that ended by the end of the decade. And its stock was selling for $42 per share, according to Yahoo Finance.
On Friday, Micron’s stock closed at $39.33 on the Nasdaq. That was the highest since that pre-9-11 summer 16 years ago and an increase of $1.37 in just one day.
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The reason? A mostly steady rise in recent months as the worldwide memory market kept getting bigger, climaxed by Tuesday’s jaw-dropping earnings report of record sales and big profits.
But what’s good for investors is not necessarily good for employees. This week also brought the news that Micron had begun telling a few hundred Boise workers that their jobs will end as most of their work is shipped to Taiwan.
Friday’s share-price high was still less than half of Micron’s all-time peak of $88.06 in May 2000. The question for investors now: Will the price rise even higher in coming days and weeks? Or are all the good financial statistics and all the hopeful profit expectations already built into the price?