Wall Street may have balked at Micron Technology’s most recent earnings report, driving shares of the chipmaker to a new 52-week low Wednesday, but the company’s CEO told CNBC that the weakness wouldn’t last very long.
The “most important thing is that the end-market demand drivers for memory and storage continue to be vibrant,” Sanjay Mehrotra, president and CEO of Micron, told Jim Cramer in an exclusive interview on Wednesday.
Shares of Micron shed more than 6 percent in after-hours trading following the company’s Tuesday earnings report, which missed analysts’ earnings and revenue estimates. The stock lost another 7.92 percent in Wednesday’s session.
But Mehrotra said that Micron and other companies in the semiconductor space were working to fix the supply-demand imbalance that has plagued commodity chipmakers in recent months.
Commodity chips — particularly Micron’s key products, flash and dynamic random-access memory chips — are building blocks of various technological devices including PCs and smartphones. Now, data centers, cloud companies, automakers, industrials and internet of things developers use them in their businesses as the need for digital memory and storage grows, Mehrotra said.
“Our customers’ demand is strong,” he said on “Mad Money.” “Our customers’ demand from us is impacted in fiscal second quarter because of the inventory buildup. And then, supply cutbacks will kick in.”
The supply cutbacks will target what Mehrotra called “air pocket[s]” of inventory buildup caused by “unprecedented” levels of demand and price increases for DRAM chips. As a result, some customers built up their chip inventories fearing a potential shortage.
“We are in that air pocket where this inventory has to be cleared from the customers, but, again, the main point is that the end market demand drivers continue to be more diverse than they have ever been in the past,” the CEO said, adding that supply cutbacks “will result in supply coming into better balance with respect to demand, and a second half of calendar year to be improved compared to the first half.”
Mehrotra pointed out that Micron’s enterprise customers as well as “hyper-scale cloud operators” have recently reported strong earnings results, suggesting that their expanding businesses will play to Micron’s favor into 2019.
“Memory and storage are very much at the heart of these trends,” he said. “The second half of the calendar year tends to be seasonally stronger for our industry. That’s why we are saying that by second half, we expect industry fundamentals to be improved compared to the first half.”