) posted a worse-than-expected $0.04 Q3 loss from continuing operations. CS First Boston cut its estimates.
Analyst Tim Mahon says the shortfall is related to much lower bit shipments (down 16% quarter-over-quarter) than anticipated. He says throughout the third quarter there continued to be a high premium for 256Mb's, resulting from limited supply. Mahon notes since then, the premium disappeared with 256M's at par, in some instances or below that of 2-128Mb's. He believes Micron is back in the mode of driving aggressive production growth combined with a focus on market share gains to drive weaker companies out of the market.
Mahon cut his $0.15 Q4 EPS estimate to a $0.24 loss. He is keeping his buy rating on the shares.