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Micron’s stock highest in 18 years as Thursday’s earnings report nears

His U.S. visa was rejected three times. Now, he is the CEO of Micron.

Sanjay Mehrotra, co-founder of SanDisk, became the CEO of Micron Technology in May. Born in India, Mehrotra came to the US for higher education.
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Sanjay Mehrotra, co-founder of SanDisk, became the CEO of Micron Technology in May. Born in India, Mehrotra came to the US for higher education.

Micron Technology will have a lot to live up to with its earnings report Thursday.

The Boise memory-chip maker’s shares have surged 44 percent this year, including a 21 percent run in March alone. Its shares have been rising lately and closed Monday at $60.14, more than twice as high as a year ago, at a price range not seen since the tech bubble in 2000, though it was down 44 cents from Friday’s close amid a broad fall Monday in tech stocks.

Micron’s outperformance may mean it will take more than the usual beat-and-raise quarter to impress traders when the company posts fiscal second-quarter results after Thursday’s market close.

In the past two weeks alone, five analysts have raised their price targets on the shares. Nomura set a Wall Street-high $100 target on March 12, arguing that DRAM pricing trends are set to improve in the second calendar quarter and that Micron is in the early stages of a major break higher. DRAM, dynamic random-access memory, is Micron’s biggest product category.

Four days later, Baird analyst Tristan Gerra matched the $100 target, saying that price declines in Micron’s other major product, NAND flash memory, are more muted than expected. Their forecasts imply about two-thirds increase from current trading levels.

While most analysts remain bullish on Micron’s fundamentals, not all say this should translate into further outsized share gains. Morgan Stanley’s Joseph Moore said in a note Monday that Micron’s strong business trends are increasingly being discounted in the stock, and upside in the shares is likely to be “more limited from here.” Moore also said Micron’s operations are space-constrained, and he wouldn’t be surprised if the company announces construction of a new fabrication plant this week or at the company’s May 21 analyst day.

The Idaho Statesman contributed.

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