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Banks

Greenlight's Einhorn says Micron 'will be worth more than' Netflix

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Billionaire hedge fund manager David Einhorn said in an investor letter on Monday that chipmaker Micron Technology Inc MU.O would be worth more than Netflix Inc NFLX.O within the next few years.

The main entrance to Micron corporate headquarters in Boise, Idaho, February 3, 2012. REUTERS/Brian Losness

Einhorn, whose $12 billion Greenlight Capital funds posted a negative 1.5 percent return net of fees and expenses in the second quarter, according to the letter, said semiconductor technology was “bright” for the next several years while Netflix had “pushed its promises into the distant future.”

“Our long-term outlook is that sometime in the next few years, MU ... will be worth more than NFLX,” Einhorn said. Micron’s market capitalization is less than half that of Netflix, at about $19.1 billion, compared with Netflix’s $42.9 billion after the close of trading on Monday.

Einhorn expressed surprise that Netflix shares had rallied in the second quarter after the company’s first-quarter earnings miss. The company’s stock soared 58 percent during the quarter.

He said that Micron’s shares, which fell about 31 percent in the second quarter, “have fallen too far.”

Micron’s shares closed up 0.23 percent on Monday at $17.61, while Netflix was up nearly 4 percent to end at $707.61.

“In today’s market, the best-performing stocks are companies where accountability is in the distant future,” Einhorn said, adding that “apparently Red Ink is the New Black.”

He also said that Greenlight had initiated "small" bullish positions in Applied Materials Inc AMAT.O and Bank of New York Mellon Corp BK.N over the quarter. Applied Materials closed up 2.9 percent at $19.31, while BNY Mellon added 1.6 percent at $42.38.

Einhorn also said his firm sold its bullish positions in Altice ATCE.AS, EMC Corp EMC.N, Marvell Technology Group MRVL.O, Nokia and Playtech PTEC.L with gains and Conn's CONN.O at a loss.

In reference to Greece, Einhorn said losses from his firm’s small position in Greek bank stocks and warrants were insignificant.

Einhorn said Europe was “unwilling to allow Syriza a face-saving compromise,” referring to the Greek ruling party and that Greece’s giving in to Europe’s demands “might not be enough, as the grand goal of the European negotiators appears to be to discourage other countries from electing populists.”

Greece’s leftist Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras faces a showdown on Tuesday with rebels in his own party, furious at his capitulation to German demands for one of the most sweeping austerity packages ever demanded of a euro zone government.

Reporting by Sam Forgione; editing by Jennifer Ablan, Dan Grebler and G Crosse

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