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Micron Electronics met lowered estimates for its first fiscal quarter today, while its share price tumbled.

The Idaho-based company reported sales up 14.5 per cent to $404 million for the period ended November 30. Net income dropped to $2 million from $15 million.

Falling DRAM memory prices hit Micron's gross margins hard - they were 15.2 per cent, down from 24.6 per cent in Q1 2000. In October the company warned that the DRAM price dive would harm its results.

The company's PC sales grew 27 per cent in the quarter compared with the same quarter last year, with net sales for this part of the business at $275 million - up on $260 million. But PC sales were still around $30 million lower than previously expected.

Earlier this month, Micron CFO James Stewart said that had DRAM prices stayed at the previous quarter's levels, the company would be looking at $85 million more in sales.

Trading wiped nearly $5 off the company's share price today, which closed at $29.81 - not far off its 52-week low of $28. ®

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