SAN FRANCISCO, Oct 3 (Reuters) Memory chipmaker Micron Technology Inc posted a quarterly loss versus a year-ago profit, hit by declines in prices for chips used in digital cameras, music players and other devices.
Micron said that average selling prices for both DRAM and NAND memory chips fell about 15 percent from the preceding quarter. DRAM chips are the most widely used in personal computers and NAND microchips are used in digital music players, cameras and other gizmos.
Micron had a net loss for its fourth fiscal quarter of $158 million, or 21 cents per share, compared with a year-earlier net profit of $64 million, or 8 cents per share.
Revenue rose to $1.44 billion from $1.37 billion.
Both the net loss and revenue were slightly better than analysts' average forecasts of 22 cents per share and $1.41 billion, according to Reuters Estimates.
At the same time, Micron said that its costs of goods sold per megabit fell in the fourth quarter from the third quarter by about 10 percent for DRAM chips and 40 percent for NAND flash memory microchips.
Micron attributed the decline to improvements in its manufacturing process and the production of ''significantly more'' NAND flash wafers. Microchips are made from circular silicon wafers.
So far this year, shares of Boise, Idaho-based Micron have declined about 18 percent, compared with an 8 percent gain in the Philadelphia Semiconductor Index .SOXX>, of which Micron is a constituent.
Shares fell 2.2 percent in after-hours trade, dropping 26 cents to $11.53 from a close of $11.79 on the New York Stock Exchange. The stock had risen 3.9 percent in regular trade.
Reuters SBA VP0430