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Micron Technology, the memory chipmaker, reported a second-quarter net loss of $52m or seven cents a share due to falling prices for its products but it forecast strong demand for the rest of the year

The US company said average selling prices for its NAND flash memory, used in cameras, phones and increasingly in PCs, fell nearly 30 per cent.

These eclipsed savings of 25 per cent in manufacturing costs achieved between the first quarter and the second, ending March 30.

Micron reported sales of $1.43bn and cash on hand of $2.2bn. It made a profit of $193.2m a year earlier or 27 cents a share. Analysts had expected a second-quarter loss of just one cent per share.

Micron said sales of its CMOS image sensors had fallen from the first quarter due to weakness in the mobile handset market, increased competition and a shift towards lower-value camera phones.

“Notwithstanding current challenging market conditions, the size of the markets for our semiconductor products continues to grow at an impressive rate,” said Steve Appleton, chief executive.

Shares in the Boise, Idaho-based company rose 48 cents, or 4 per cent, in after hours trading.

The company competes with South Korea’s Samsung Electronics, Japan’s Elpida Memory and Sandisk of the US.

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