Semiconductor manufacturer Micron Technology (MU) makes a host of high-tech products found in computers and mobile devices — mostly in the flash memory space. And as tech investors should know, the biggest cash cow for semiconductor companies has long been the PC business — and a decline in laptop and desktop sales has worked against Micron.
So in 2008 and 2009, Micron underwent a major restructuring and laid off about 15% of its work force in an effort to reverse its fortunes.
Then in 2010, Micron bought flash-memory company Numonyx for about $1.2 billion — giving it a huge leg up in market share and allowing for economies of scale. Over the next few years, MU teamed up with Intel (INTC) on a number of flash memory projects to benefit both of the embattled chip-makers at a time when they needed to work together.
These moves and others seem to have paid off, with Micron stabilizing its top line and projecting a return to profitability in the next fiscal year.
Micron recently has seen a spate of analyst upgrades as a result of its improving balance sheet, including a “buy” rating at Stifel Nicolaus with a target of $24 a share — an additional 35% up from here.