Micron Technology Inc. investors are hoping the memory-chip maker’s forecast will provide more color into the unprecedented supply-and-demand dynamics created by two years of COVID-19-related disruption. Micron
is scheduled to report its fiscal fourth-quarter results after the market’s close on Thursday.
In case there was any question last quarter on whether the two-year global chip shortage was over, Micron’s fourth-quarter sales forecast that fell $1.5 billion short of the Wall Street consensus at the time answered it. Micron Chief Executive Sanjay Mehrotra had said back in late June that the company was taking actions to moderate supply growth due a recent weakening in industry demand. Now that we know parts of the chip industry are starting to build up pockets of oversupply, the question naturally becomes: How long before the cycle flips back? The problem is that the supply-chain issues created by the COVID-19 pandemic were unprecedented, more or less throwing out the playbook on how to forecast chip cycles. The Boise, Idaho-based chip maker specializes in DRAM and NAND memory chips. DRAM, or dynamic random access memory, is the type of memory commonly used in PCs and servers, while NAND chips are the flash memory chips used in smaller devices like smartphones and USB drives. For most of the year, analysts have been fretting over the chip sector. Record-high stock prices before the end of 2022, record sales and sold-out supply until 2023 struck many investors who can remember the 2019 chip glut as red flags. Read: ‘Moore’s Law’s dead,’ Nvidia CEO Jensen Huang says in justifying gaming-card price hike Morgan Stanley analyst Joseph Moore, who has an underweight rating on …