Zacks Investment Research lowered shares of Micron Technology, Inc. (NASDAQ:MU) from a strong-buy rating to a hold rating in a research note issued to investors on Wednesday, May 24th.

According to Zacks, “Micron offers both DRAM and NAND products. The stock has outperformed the broader market in the last one year. The main reason behind the optimism surrounding the stock is improving prices for DRAM and NAND chips, which makes investors confident about Micron’s growth. Going ahead, industry experts believe that total demand could surpass manufacturing capacity, leading to a periodic shortage and higher pricing in the near term. We believe that any increase in prices will have a favorable impact on the company’s top line, the benefit of which is likely to flow down to the bottom line. Additionally, we are positive about the company’s strategy of enhancing capabilities through acquisitions which are likely to boost its top-line performance over the long-run. However, after acquiring SanDisk, Western Digital has become a key player in the NAND space, which could increase competition in the industry.”

Several other research firms have also recently issued reports on MU. Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. (The) raised Micron Technology from a neutral rating to a buy rating and upped their price objective for the company from $26.00 to $29.00 in a research report on Wednesday, March 1st. Cowen and Company upped their price objective on Micron Technology from $33.00 to $34.00 and gave the company an outperform rating in a research report on Friday, March 3rd. Rosenblatt Securities started coverage on Micron Technology in a research report on Wednesday, February 22nd. They issued a buy rating and a $34.00 price objective on the stock. Vetr cut Micron Technology from a strong-buy rating to a buy rating and set a $28.60 price objective on the stock. in a research report on Monday, March 6th. Finally, Susquehanna Bancshares Inc reissued a positive rating on shares of Micron Technology in a report on Thursday, February 9th. One analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, four have issued a hold rating, twenty-six have assigned a buy rating and one has assigned a strong buy rating to the stock. The stock presently has an average rating of Buy and a consensus price target of $32.29.

Micron Technology (NASDAQ:MU) traded down 2.29% on Wednesday, hitting $29.86. The stock had a trading volume of 42,881,748 shares. The company has a market cap of $33.03 billion, a P/E ratio of 46.51 and a beta of 1.77. The stock has a 50 day moving average price of $29.50 and a 200 day moving average price of $25.49. Micron Technology has a 1-year low of $11.50 and a 1-year high of $32.93. Micron Technology also saw unusually large options trading on Thursday. Traders acquired 40,856 put options on the stock. This represents an increase of approximately 103% compared to the average volume of 20,122 put options.

Micron Technology (NASDAQ:MU) last posted its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, March 23rd. The semiconductor manufacturer reported $0.90 earnings per share for the quarter, topping the consensus estimate of $0.84 by $0.06. The company had revenue of $4.65 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $4.65 billion. Micron Technology had a return on equity of 7.73% and a net margin of 4.68%. The firm’s quarterly revenue was up 58.4% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter in the prior year, the business posted $0.01 EPS. On average, equities research analysts expect that Micron Technology will post $4.30 EPS for the current fiscal year.

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In related news, VP Scott J. Deboer sold 51,500 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Monday, March 27th. The shares were sold at an average price of $28.80, for a total transaction of $1,483,200.00. Following the completion of the sale, the vice president now owns 221,732 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $6,385,881.60. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which can be accessed through this hyperlink. Also, VP April S. Arnzen sold 1,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Monday, April 3rd. The shares were sold at an average price of $28.95, for a total transaction of $28,950.00. Following the sale, the vice president now directly owns 54,542 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $1,578,990.90. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last ninety days, insiders have sold 240,380 shares of company stock valued at $6,898,194. 0.69% of the stock is owned by corporate insiders.

Several hedge funds have recently bought and sold shares of MU. Guardian Life Insurance Co. of America boosted its stake in Micron Technology by 0.3% in the first quarter. Guardian Life Insurance Co. of America now owns 4,004 shares of the semiconductor manufacturer’s stock valued at $116,000 after buying an additional 13 shares during the period. Washington Trust Bank boosted its stake in Micron Technology by 1.5% in the first quarter. Washington Trust Bank now owns 4,355 shares of the semiconductor manufacturer’s stock valued at $126,000 after buying an additional 63 shares during the period. Winslow Evans & Crocker Inc. boosted its stake in Micron Technology by 0.5% in the first quarter. Winslow Evans & Crocker Inc. now owns 21,400 shares of the semiconductor manufacturer’s stock valued at $618,000 after buying an additional 100 shares during the period. Neuberger Berman Group LLC boosted its stake in Micron Technology by 1.4% in the first quarter. Neuberger Berman Group LLC now owns 12,407 shares of the semiconductor manufacturer’s stock valued at $359,000 after buying an additional 170 shares during the period. Finally, Ameritas Investment Partners Inc. boosted its stake in Micron Technology by 0.5% in the first quarter. Ameritas Investment Partners Inc. now owns 43,675 shares of the semiconductor manufacturer’s stock valued at $1,262,000 after buying an additional 203 shares during the period. 79.77% of the stock is owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

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