Business

Micron is Boise’s biggest for-profit employer. This is how it is breaking sales records

A wafer used to fabricate cutting-edge, three-dimensional memory chips at the Utah plant that Micron Technology Inc. operates with Intel in a joint venture.
A wafer used to fabricate cutting-edge, three-dimensional memory chips at the Utah plant that Micron Technology Inc. operates with Intel in a joint venture. The New York Times

Micron Technology Inc. set a sales record in its latest quarter, reporting revenues of $5.57 billion, up 20 percent from the same quarter a year earlier. Profits poured in, totaling $1.65 billion, compared with a $215 million loss in the comparable 2016 quarter.

The Boise memory-chip maker on Thursday credited favorable market conditions — including higher prices for dynamic random-access memory, one of Micron’s core products — and effective cost-reduction efforts. Micron’s free cash flow — cash generated after subtracting capital expenditures — was enough to let the company retire $1 billion in debt.

Micron also is improving its technology and product competitiveness, said Sanjay Mehrotra, the new CEO, in a conference call with analysts. Revenue from cloud-computing customers rose fourfold in one year.

Strong industry demand will likely continue in 2018, he said.

“The global trends taking shape today, including machine learning and big-data analytics, are exciting and create significant opportunities for Micron,” Mehrotra said in a statement. “We are focused on positioning the company to realize these opportunities by investing in technology and products while also strengthening our balance sheet.”

A positive earnings report, for the quarter that ended June 1, was expected. Micron’s stock price has more than doubled in the past year. It closed Monday at $31.47 before the earnings were announced.

Micron is the Treasure Valley’s largest for-profit employer, with about 6,000 workers here, mostly at its main campus and headquarters in Southeast Boise. Mehrotra succeeded Mark Durcan two months ago.

David Staats: 208-377-6417, @DavidStaats

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