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Micron's beats expectations, eyes healthier market

(Reuters) - Micron Technology posted a quarterly net loss on Thursday but the chipmaker said the outlook for memory chip prices is improving.

Following an industry slump in memory chip prices last year, Micron President Mark Adams said on Thursday that prices for DRAM and NAND memory chips are rising.

"Both DRAM and NAND are in healthy positions. I would say DRAM is driven primarily by a better supply balance with the existing demand in the industry," Adams told Reuters. "NAND is more continued growth in the demand side of the equation."

Consumers' growing preference for smartphones and tablets instead of laptops have hurt personal computer manufacturers, which traditionally have been major buyers of DRAM chips made by Micron and rivals like Samsung Electronics <005930.KS>.

In response, chipmakers have reconfigured some of their capacity to manufacture more specialized memory for smartphones and tablets.

Micron said it sold more DRAM chips in the fiscal second quarter than in the previous quarter, and that it also improved its gross margins thanks to lower manufacturing costs.

The company reported a net loss for the fiscal second quarter ended February 28 of $286 million, or $0.28 per share.

It had a loss of $282 million, or $0.29 per share, a year earlier.

Revenue rose to $2.1 billion from $2.0 billion a year ago. Analysts on average expected quarterly revenue of $1.922 billion, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Shares of Micron rose 4.2 percent in extended trade after closing down 2.58 percent at $9.07.

(Reporting by Noel Randewich; Editing by Chris Reese and Tim Dobbyn)

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