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Micron sees sales slump, vague on Hynix progress

Signs of DRAM life

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ComputerWire: IT Industry Intelligence

Micron Technology Inc pointed to signs of life in the memory market when it released its second quarter results yesterday.

However, the Boise, Idaho-based company gave little indication of progress in its protracted takeover talks with foundering rival memory giant Hynix.

Sales were down 39.4% to $645.9m in the quarter to February 28. Operating losses were $59m, compared to losses of $41m a year ago, while net losses were $30.4m, compared to last year's $88.3m loss. For the year to date, sales were down 59.4% to $1.1bn, while net losses were $296.3m, compared to a profit of $263.9m a year ago.

Steve Appleton, Micron's chairman, president and CEO, acknowledged the company had been in talks with Hynix for some time, but could offer no firm details on when the talks might conclude, if at all.

Both firms continued putting their positions forward, he said, but then also had to go back and forth to their relevant constituencies. "We're going to keep
moving forward until we see something that is realistic," he said.

Aside from the talks with Hynix, the company said it was seeing some signs of life in the memory market, whose fortunes have declined in line with the slump in PC sales. The market had continued to show "greater strength than anyone had foresaw" in the wake of the holiday period.

The company was benefiting as PC vendors loaded up their systems to cope with the demands of Windows XP.

In addition, recent weeks had seen "signs of life" in the commercial market, particularly for server memory the company said. And things had greatly stabilized in the firm's networking and wired communications business.

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