Microchip (MCHP) yesterday reported December-quarter (fiscal Q3 2013) results slightly above analysts' consensus and in line with the mid-range of its prior guidance. Normally, the March quarter is seasonally down from the December quarter, but in its guidance Microchip predicted sequential revenue growth. As a result, Microchip, which closed at $33.94 before reporting results, has climbed to $36.60 as of this writing. Microchip's current 52-week low is $28.92, and its 52-week high is $37.50.
Part of the strong revenue results resulted from the acquisition of SMSC. The same acquisition led to charges that hit GAAP profits pretty hard, but excluding those items, non-GAAP profits and free cash flow were strong. Microchip's model involves a focus on microcontrollers and related analog functions (touch screen control, wireless, and power management), with a wide variety of parts available to meet specific customer needs. Record revenue in quarter reflected a broad-based uptick in demand across industries and geographies. Revenues were $416.0 million, up 9% sequentially from $382.3 million and up 26% from $329.2 million in the year-earlier quarter.
Guidance to March-quarter revenue of between $420.2 and $432.7 million, despite the usual hit from Chinese Lunar New Year, is based both on a continuation of the underlying trend and on design wins. Quite a number of design wins were announced in 2012; these are now resulting in orders that should ramp through 2013. Microchip has been a reliable dividend payer. At today's price, the dividend yield is 4.15%.
Normally, I use GAAP profits as a baseline, but non-GAAP numbers can be more informative for the long run when GAAP is affected by acquisition charges, as was the case in calendar Q4. GAAP net income was $10.2 million, up sequentially from negative $21.2 million and down 87% from $77.5 million a year earlier. GAAP EPS (earnings per share) were $0.05, up sequentially from negative $0.11, but down 87% from $0.38 a year earlier. In contrast, non-GAAP net income was $84.5 million, EPS was $0.41, which is an improvement on, but consistent with, prior quarters. Free cash flow was $123.2 million, of which Microchip paid $68.7 million in dividends.
Microchip is still recovering from the cautious buying and weak end demand earlier this year. Inventories were reduced in Q4 and will continue to be reduced through June. On the customer side, inventories are believed to be extremely lean, which could also result in increased buying if final demand shows signs of improving with the global economy.
I first invested in Microchip in 2006, based largely on my familiarity with its microcontroller products. It has been a reliable source of dividends and appears to have a first-class management team. I would recommend the stock to almost any class of investor.
Disclaimer: I own MCHP stock. I will not trade MCHP for at least one week after this article is published.