NAND down we goooo: Flash supplier revenues plunged in first quarter

Oversupply blues set to continue into the second too

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Oversupply is a pain in the collective rear for flash suppliers – a price crash caused market revenues to slump by almost a fifth to $10.792bn in calendar Q1 compared to the prior quarter.

Not everyone suffered equally in the quarter, according to the stats compiled by researcher DRAMeXChange: SK Hynix's revenues were down 35.5 per cent to $1.024bn but Intel dropped 17.3 per cent to $915m.

The DRAMeXchange numbers look like this:

  1Q19 $m revenues Change from 4Q18 Share 1Q19 Share 4Q18
Samsung 3,229.2 -25.0% 29.9% 30.4%
Toshiba 2,180.0 -20.2% 20.2% 19.3%
Micron 1,776.0 -18.5% 16.5% 15.4%
WDC 1,610.0 -25.9% 14.9% 15.3%
SK Hynix 1,023.7 -35.5% 9.5% 11.2%
Intel 915.0 -17.3% 8.5% 7.8%
Others 58.0 -25.0% 0.5% 0.5%
TOTAL 10,791.9 -23.8% 100.0% 100.0%

eMMC/UFS contract prices fell 15-20 per cent, Client SSD by 17-31 per cent and Enterprise SSD by 26-32 per cent.

Samsung lost market share as its revenues declined a quarter to $3.23bn. Second-placed Toshiba gained market share as its revenues fell by a little more than a fifth to $2.18bn.

Micron revenues were down 18.5 per cent to $1.776bn and it picked up market share too, up to 16.5 per cent from 15.4 a year ago.

DRAMeXchange said: "Micron's financial performance was spectacular compared to other suppliers, declining by only 18.5 per cent quarter-on-quarter in total revenue to US$1.78bn."

Toshiba fab partner Western Digital saw revenues drop 25.9 per cent to $1.61bn and also saw market share drop from 15.3 per cent to 14.9 per cent.

In sixth place came Intel with its $915m revenues representing a share gain from 7.8 per cent to 8.5 per cent.

DRAMeXchange said calendar Q1 is seasonally low revenue, but: "The weakening demand in 4Q18 has pushed smartphone and server OEMs to begin adjusting their inventories ... causing overall NAND flash contract prices to see the most dramatic drop since 1Q18.

"Demand for primary products including smartphones, notebook PCs and servers will see a recovery, but this will not be enough to ease inventory pressure, and suppliers will see no end to plunging prices if inventory pressures are unremoved."

In fact, they think price falls could be non-stop in the second quarter, which may be music to some suppliers' ears. Just not the flash makers. ®




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