Analyst Favors Flash Memory Makers (SNDK, MU)


Good news for chip stocks, particularly flash memory makers. Sterne Agee analyst Vijay Rakesh is out with another positive note showing favorable trends for both SanDisk Corporation (NASDAQ: SNDK) and Micron Technology Inc. (NASDAQ: MU) as a second-half play for 2012. Multiple new product ramps are going to help according to the report, with the gains coming from enterprise, ultrabooks, and tablets like Nexus/Kindle, mini-iPads; and the coming iPhone5 will help too.

The research note says that news of Samsung spending $4 billion on its Austin Memory plant to convert capacity to making its A5 for the iphone-iPad and Exynos processors is a boost and it should be positive for NAND suppliers like Micron and Samsung as NAND capacity continues to come off: "We believe the Samsung move should be another positive for Supply Consolidation into the first half of 2013 for Micron and SanDisk."

Rakesh also sees SanDisk gaining new market share into the iPhone5 as a catalyst into the fourth quarter of this year. This viewpoint is taking place amidst a background of capped to declining memory capacity at the NAND and DRAM majors, which should also act to help stabilize and improve margins.

This is not the sort of report that moves shares on a single day but it does drive the longer-term outlook for flash. Micron shares are at $6.50 today against a $3.97 to $9.16 range in the last weeks. Meanwhile, SanDisk is up almost 2% at $43.10 against a 52-week range of $30.99 to $53.46.


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