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KLA-Tencor CFO flags memory chip concerns, sending shares lower

KLA-Tencor Corp. CFO Bren Higgins said the chip gear maker continues to grapple with lower memory chip shipments and faces a potentially weaker-than-expected recovery, sending its shares and those of peers lower on concerns that the booming memory chip industry is slowing down, Reuters reported Sept. 7.

"We thought that December quarter would snap back pretty strongly, when we look at it today ... feels like it will be up a little less than what we thought," Higgins was quoted as saying at a technology conference in New York. Higgins' pessimistic forecast followed Micron Technology Inc. CFO David Zinsner's confirmation at the same conference that NAND chip prices declined in the third quarter.

Average prices for NAND flash memory chips used in mobile devices and memory cards have fallen by nearly 50% from a peak in 2017, Reuters said. In contrast, prices of DRAM memory chips used in servers, gaming computers and cryptocurrency mining devices, were up by more than 20%.

KLA-Tencor shares closed 9.72% lower Sept. 6, while those of leading chip gear makers Applied Materials Inc. and Lam Research Corp. also retreated 5.25% and 6.97%, respectively. Micron's shares closed down 9.87%.