But the revenue line and the fact that Micron, is back in the black, shows that the DRAM market is picking up at long last. Compare and contrast with Q1 last year, when the company, America’s last DRAM maker, produced a net loss of $315.9m on sales of $685.1m.
And the market will stay picked up in the medium term, according to IDC, which is forecasting industry revenue increases in 2004 and 2005. And then in 2006, as is the way of the memory market, over-production will see revenue falls once more.
Micron attributes its own turnaround to higher average selling prices and better manufacturing performance. In the late 90s, The Boise, Idaho firm had a good bull run, by coming to market with new DRAM technologies more quickly than its rivals. But worldwide oversupply in recent years, helped by state-subsidised rivals and slower than expected consolidation – mostly because basketcase Hynix is still around as an independent – resulted in a collapse of prices.