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Hynix, Micron gaining in on NAND flash market leaders

Posted: 04 May 2012 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:NAND flash? market share? manufacturing?

Micron Technology Inc. and Hynix Semiconductor Inc. have to thank solid manufacturing and strong pricing for their recent strong performances in the global NAND flash market in Q4. This is according to IHS Inc. that also indicated that the two companies have closed the gap in market share between them and the industry leaders this year.

Third-ranked Micron Technology of the U.S. achieved 11.7 percent revenue growth in Q4 compared to the third, while fourth-placed Hynix Semiconductor of South Korea expanded its revenue by 5.4 percent.

These strong performances contrasted sharply with the overall market's 2.8 percent contraction. The results from Micron and Hynix were even more remarkable when compared to the 4.6 percent decline for market leader Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd and a 12.3 percent decrease for second-ranked Toshiba of Japan.

NAND flash market

Third-placed Micron Technology achieved 11.7 percent revenue growth in Q4 while fourth-placed Hynix Semiconductor expanded its revenue by 5.4 percent in 4Q12.

"Both Micron and Hynix managed to avoid any production issues in Q4, allowing them to keep their NAND flash production at high levels," revealed Michael Yang, senior principal analyst for memory and storage at IHS. "This allowed them to keep their average selling prices high. On the other hand, Samsung and Toshiba decided to throttle back production arising from concerns relating to oversupply. We believe that Micron and Hynix will continue to gain share in 2012."

Hynix, in particular, is expected to increase its share as the company engages in capital spending at a higher rate than the industry average.

Overall, Micron's NAND market share in Q4 rose to 19.6 percent, up from 17 percent in Q3. For its part, Hynix saw its portion of market revenue increase to 13.3 percent, up from 12.2 percent.

The Q4 performance of Micron and Hynix were also notable when compared to the same period in 2011. Revenue for Micron surged by 88 percent compared to a year earlier, while that of Hynix increased 69 percent.

Toshiba suffered the largest sequential decline of all of the NAND flash suppliers. However, the decrease was unrelated to the Japanese earthquake disaster, with the company having already recovered from the catastrophe before Q4. Instead, the company made a conscious decision to reduce production in the face of oversupplied market conditions.

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