BOISE -- One of the state's biggest employers, Micron Technology, is celebrating a money-making year. This, just a few years after some analysts thought they might go under.
Thursday afternoon, the Boise-based memory chip-maker announced net income of $1.19 billion for the fiscal year, which ended on August 29th. It comes after a billion-dollar loss for 2012. The company had more than nine billion dollars in net sales.
How'd all this happen? During the past quarter, Micron completed its purchase of Elpida Memory and Rexchip Electronics, increasing their ability to make chips. PC sales are down, but, Micron has become one of the world's top makers of memory for mobile devices. Mobile sales and prices are way up.
Financial analyst Dave Petso says everything just seems to be coming together for Micron.
"You have two things, really, working in conjunction. You have prices now, actually increasing. As well as, Micron has been able to bring their costs down through production, shrinking the technology," said Petso. "As we've all learned over the past few years, that's what it really amounts to. You get more and more chips out of a wafer, then you're going to make more and more money, and that's exactly what Micron has done."
Thursday, the company's stock price responded to the good news, gaining more than one-and-a-half percent to end the regular trading day at $18.43. That's a far cry from what the stock price was in 2008, $1.60. Just over the past year, Micron stock has more than tripled in value.
And, this isn't just good news for Micron employees and stock owners. Petso says, when local companies show a profit, that translates into taxes for the state.
"You turn from not paying any taxes to the state to paying a large amount," said Petso. "It's a gigantic move for the state. You also have job security, even though they've had some minor cutbacks, better job security. You've got R&D here, so when the company does well, the local economy does well."