Chip Stock Stays Hot After Upgrade

Goldman Sachs is bullish on MU's memory chip pricing

Managing Editor
Jul 22, 2019 at 9:42 AM
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It's a big morning for the semiconductor sector, after a Friday report that White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin will meet with tech executives to go over the U.S. ban on sales to China's Huawei Technologies. Perhaps the stock enjoying the news the most is Micron Technology, Inc. (NASDAQ:MU), after Goldman Sachs upgraded the chipmaker to "buy" from "neutral" and hiked its price target to $56 from $40. The analyst in coverage believes memory chip pricing could start to improve during the third quarter. 

The double-dose of good news has Micron stock up 2.7% to trade at $46.76 this morning. After bottoming around $32 in mid-June, MU has turned in five straight weekly wins to the tune of a 46% gain, and is now headed for its highest close since early October. Year-to-date, the shares are up 45% now, but still have some work to do to reclaim their July 24 annual high of $55.40. 

More bull notes could certainly keep the wind at the equity's back. While 14 of 24 brokerages covering Micron stock rate it a "buy" or better, its consensus 12-month price target of $44.54 is a discount to Friday's closing perch of $45.52.

In the options pits, there is a distinct bullish bias. At the International Securities Exchange (ISE), Cboe Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX), the stock's 10-day call/put volume ratio of 1.69 ranks in the elevated 70th annual percentile, meaning calls have been bought to open over puts at a quicker-than-usual clip.

Near-term options are attractively priced right now. The security's Schaeffer's Volatility Index (SVI) of 41% sits in just the 17th percentile of its annual range. This means short-term options are pricing in relatively low volatility expectations for MU.


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