Micron posts smallest revenue decline in a year

October 4, 2016 4:46 PM EDT

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(Reuters) - Memory-chip maker Micron Technology Inc reported better-than-expected fourth quarter revenue, which saw its smallest decline in a year, as pricing improves and the personal computer market shows signs of rebound.

Micron forecast first-quarter adjusted profit of 13-21 cents per share, while analysts were expecting a profit of 9 cents, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S. It would represent the company's first profit in three quarters.

The company's share were marginally higher at $17.92 in after-market trading on Tuesday.

Micron, which manufactures DRAM chips used in PCs and NAND flash memory chips widely used in smartphones to store music, pictures and data, has enjoyed a recovery in the last six months amid signs of improvement in the market.

"We are seeing improving market conditions in terms of both slowing supply growth and improving demand across a number of key segments," Micron CEO Mark Durcan said.

With DRAM prices rebounding to 7 month highs, Micron is benefiting as the supply glut in the market has dried up following aggressive cut backs in production amid signs of a bounce back in demand.

Prices of both DRAM and NAND chips are expected to rise in the fourth quarter, according to research firm TrendForce, with DRAM prices anticipated to rise over 10 percent from the previous quarter.

On an adjusted basis, Micron lost 5 cents per share, beating estimates of a loss of 12 cents per share.

The net loss attributable to company's shareholders was $170 million, or 16 cents per share, in the fourth quarter, compared with a profit of $471 million, or 42 cents per share, a year earlier. (http://bit.ly/2dpsaFi)

The latest quarter included a $58 million charge related to a restructuring program the company announced in the third quarter.

Micron's net sales fell 10.6 percent to $3.22 billion in the fourth quarter. Analysts on average were expecting revenue of $3.15 billion.

Up to Tuesday's close, the stock had risen 25.7 percent this year, on par with the nearly 25 percent gain in the broader Philadelphia SE Semiconductor Index during that period.

(Reporting by Narottam Medhora in Bengaluru)

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