August 30, 2023
CFO Mark Murphy and EVP of Operations Manish Bhatia, with Sidney Ho of Deutsche Bank
- · Their business continues to trend as they expected they would at the end of the last quarter. They are past bits bottom. Micron believes prices are bottoming “about now.”
- · The company begin sampling their HBM3e product at the end of July.
- · They also recently filed for CHIPs Act grants for a fab in Idaho and a megafab in New York.
- · The pricing inflection referred to in their opening statements refers to ASPs for both DRAM and NAND. The pricing bottom began in pockets and is now more widespread. They expect pricing increases to continue through the rest of the calendar year.
- · PC and mobile inventories at customers are at normal levels now. Once demand picks up in those segments, customers will begin to replenish their inventories. Data center customer inventories are still elevated and are expected to reach normal levels around the end of calendar 2023 or in early 2024.
- · Micron’s days of inventory is declining and that is expected to continue.
- · There is more supply of DDR4 than DDR5. The transition is well underway between the two interfaces. Their DDR5 is on the 1-beta node, which they characterize as “outstanding.” They expect to reach bit crossover with DDR5 around the end of calendar Q1 2024, about one quarter ahead of competitors.
- · NAND profitability and pricing is worse than DRAM, and inventory levels there are higher. The NAND recovery will take longer than it will in DRAM.
- · No update on the sales restrictions on Micron products in China.
- · The recovery “has started.” They believe pricing has bottomed.
- · Micron is mature in the 1-beta DRAM node. They believe they are far ahead of their competitors in this technology. They also believe this node, which their new HBM product is built on, is a major reason the specs on this product are better than competing products.
- · The fundamentals of the business are still weak.
- · They continue to expect WFE to be down in 2024, year-over-year. The executives didn’t say if this is for the company or for memory in total. Most likely it is for just Micron. I think they are subtly saying that Micron will need to see strength in end markets for some time before they invest heavily.
Only three weeks since their last statements and now the CFO says that pricing has inflected upward “generally.” In the call on August 7th, he said there were pockets across the market where pricing has inflected. DRAM continues to be ahead of NAND in the recovery. Both markets are in rough shape as measured by margins. NAND is just worse. Data center will be the last segment to recover. This is the first indication from Micron that the pricing bottom of the downturn has passed. The question now is, how steep will the slope up in ASPs be?
-Smooth Hughes (cyclical long MU)