Integrated Device Technology Management Discusses Q4 2013 Results - Earnings Call Transcript

| About: Integrated Device (IDTI)

Integrated Device Technology (NASDAQ:IDTI)

Q4 2013 Earnings Call

April 29, 2013 4:30 pm ET


Richard D. Crowley - Chief Financial Officer, Principal Accounting Officer and Senior Vice President

Theodore L. Tewksbury - Chief Executive Officer, President and Director


Anthony J. Stoss - Craig-Hallum Capital Group LLC, Research Division

Delos Elder

Betsy Van Hees - Wedbush Securities Inc., Research Division


Ladies and gentlemen, thank you for standing by. Good afternoon, and welcome to the Integrated Device Technology, Inc. Fiscal Fourth Quarter and Year End 2013 Financial Results Conference Call. [Operator Instructions] As a reminder, this conference is being recorded. And with that said, here with opening remarks is the Integrated Device Technology's Chief Financial Officer, Rick Crowley. Please go ahead, sir.

Richard D. Crowley

Thank you, Lorrie, and welcome to our fiscal fourth quarter and year end 2013 earnings call. I'm Rick Crowley, IDT's Chief Financial Officer, and presenting with me on the call today is Ted Tewksbury, our President and CEO.

Our call today will include remarks about future expectations, plans and prospects for IDT, which constitute forward-looking statements for purposes of the Safe Harbor provisions under applicable federal securities laws.

Forward-looking statements in this call will include statements regarding demand for company products, anticipated trends in company sales, expenses and profits, and involve a number of risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from current expectations.

The company urges investors to review in detail the risks and uncertainties in the company's SEC filings including, but not limited to, the annual report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended April 1, 2012, our quarterly report on Form 10-Q for the quarter ended December 30, 2012, and periodic reports filed from time to time with the SEC.

All forward-looking statements are made as of the date of this call, and IDT disclaims any duty to update such statements.

In addition, pursuant to Regulation G, any non-GAAP financial measures referenced during today's conference call can be found in our press release posted on our website at, including a complete reconciliation to the most directly comparable GAAP measures.

All financial references will be non-GAAP on a continuing operations basis, unless otherwise indicated. Also, we have made selected financial information available and webcast slides, which can be found in the Investor Relations section of our website.

Now I'll turn the call over to Ted, who will provide some fourth quarter and year end highlights, and then I'll return to give you more specifics on our results for the quarter. After that, I'll elaborate on our outlook for the June quarter. Ted?

Theodore L. Tewksbury

Thanks, Rick, and thanks to all of you joining us today. To briefly recap, we reported fiscal Q4 results with revenue of $108.5 million, non-GAAP gross margin of 58.2% and non-GAAP EPS of $0.01.

Q4 results were in line with our prior projections. Revenue from new products grew 6% sequentially to 21% of the total, but this was offset by a weakness in our core and base businesses.

Despite the sequential decline in total revenue, gross margins came in slightly higher on better product mix, and we were able to maintain non-GAAP profitability as expected. We also generated positive cash flow from operations.

Let me now provide a brief overview of the trends we saw in each of our end markets, including new products and design activity, followed by our guidance for Q1.

In our communications end market, revenue decreased about 3% quarter-over-quarter with strong sales of RapidIO switches, offset by weakness in standard products. Revenue from communications comprised about 58% of total sales, compared with 56% in the prior quarter. About 2/3 of our communications revenue came from wireline and about 1/3 from wireless infrastructure.

While communications revenue declined sequentially, we see trends improving, driven by strength in wireless. The U.S. 4G build-out continues in full swing, with Verizon announcing accelerating customer adoption, AT&T pulling in LTE deployments and T-Mobile and Sprint playing catch-up.

Every LTE base station used by these service providers contains 1 to 3 IDT switches, so all of this 4G activity led to another record quarter for our RapidIO business. We expect this momentum to continue through fiscal 2014, aided by TD/LTE deployments in China.

In the computing end market, we experienced a 5% sequential revenue drop, as recovering server-related sales were offset by weakness in the PC segment.

Overall, computing represented about 29% of revenue, down from 30% from the prior quarter. Server-related revenue accounted for almost 80% of our computing sales in Q4, as we continue to steer the portfolio away from commodity PC and towards higher gross margin enterprise products.

In memory interfaces, we continue to maintain our #1 market share in DDR3 and began production shipments of LRDIMM. Our DDR4 chipset has already started shipping for qualification builds and the volume ramp will commence with the launch of the first DDR-based servers in the first half of 2014.

Our new PCI Express enterprise flash controllers continue to gain customer traction. We won another flash controller socket at a Tier 1 SSD vendor, bringing total design wins to more than 8 leading SSD storage system and data center customers. We expect the well-known data center customer to be begin ramping in our December quarter, with another following early next year.

Turning now to our consumer end market. Revenue decreased 11% sequentially in a seasonally weak March quarter. Overall, consumer sales represented 13% of total revenue, down from 14% in the prior quarter.

In addition to seasonality, consumer revenue declined in Q4, due to a gaming console transition at one of our largest customers. We expect the resumption of growth in our consumer business starting in Q1, driven by timing solutions for new gaming and infotainment platforms.

This will be augmented in the back half of the year with wireless power. The wireless charging ecosystem continues to develop, with AT&T, Starbucks, Delta Air Lines and others endorsing the PMA extender. The other camp, including big names like Verizon and McDonald's, are throwing their weight behind the WPC standard. This creates a dilemma for smartphone manufacturers who must either choose between these 2 standards or build separate handsets for each.

IDT has solved this problem with the introduction of the world's first dual-mode receiver that supports both the PMA and the WPC standards, and customer interest for this new product has been overwhelming.

We have now sampled all of the leading smartphone OEMs with our magnetic induction products, and we have multiple design wins on both the transmit and receive sides. We're already shipping induction transmitters to several customers at low revenue levels.

We're also in the lead position for magnetic resonance charging through our partnerships with Intel and Qualcomm. During the quarter, we delivered prototype resonance parts to both of these partners. While the precise timing of emerging markets is always difficult to predict, most industry analysts and customers believe that the volume ramp for magnetic induction will start in the second half of this fiscal year, with the next-generation magnetic resonance technology following about a year later.

IDT is best positioned to benefit when the ramp occurs, since we offer the industry's most integrated, feature rich and multi-standard product set.

In addition to wireless power, last week, we introduced a unique program of our power management solution with scalable output power. IDT's patented architecture enables equipment manufacturers for the first time to use a single-power management IC across multiple processors and applications, including tablets, clamshell devices and smartphones.

Now I'd like to take a moment to call out our industry-leading timing business. Since sometimes it gets lost in all of our end market discussions. Recall the timing represents about 45% of IDT's total revenue. Of that, roughly 30% falls in communications, 10% in consumer and 5% in computing, with most of the computing portion being server related.

IDT leads the industry in timing because we provide the highest performance, the broadest portfolio and the fastest time-to-market to our quick turn design methodology. Just to give you one of many examples. A wireless backhaul has customer came to us last quarter with a challenging application that demanded the lowest possible jitter.

We competed head-to-head with the next 3 timing companies, and we beat them all handily on performance. But equally important, the customer chose IDT because we were able to address their complete system-level timing needs. We provided an additional 6 buffer and timing devices to complete their clock tree, bringing the total to 7 sockets in this 1 particular platform.

This example is typical of how we win by providing end-to-end timing solutions and frequency control, de-synthesizers and buffers. Consistent with this mission, we added another product to our award-winning frequency control portfolio, with the introduction of the industry's lowest jitter MEMS oscillators. These devices significantly reduced error rates in 10-gigabit Ethernet switches, routers and other networking equipment. So that's how we win in timing.

With that, let me turn to our Q1 guidance. While bookings trends have improved, lead times continue to be short and visibility limited. For our first quarter of fiscal 2014, we expect revenue to increase to about $116 million at the mid-point, plus or minus $3 million.

Sales from the communications end market are expected to increase by approximately 3%, computing by 11%, and in consumer, we anticipate June quarter revenue to be up about 15% driven by timing.

Fiscal 2013 was a challenging year. And while I am not satisfied with our financial results, I am confident that the momentum we saw in new product adoption will carry into fiscal '14.

In fiscal '13, revenue from new product categories grew 56% year-over-year to 18% of total revenue, in line with the projections we've provided at our Analyst Day one year ago. This highlights the success we're seeing in this new product areas, but that growth was offset by declines in our base and core businesses due to weak demand across our end markets.

We also drove gross margins to 10-year highs by going fabless and focusing on higher-margin products. As we enter fiscal 2014, we believe that continuing growth of a new product revenue, combined with our recovery in our core and base businesses, gross margin strength and planned operating expense reductions will enable us to expand our operating margins throughout the year. With that, I'll turn it over to Rick to expand on our financial results and our guidance for the June quarter. Rick?

Richard D. Crowley

Thanks, Ted. As Ted mentioned earlier, during fiscal Q4, we posted revenue of $108.5 million, slightly above the midpoint of the projected range we provided on our January earnings call.

Bookings were up sequentially in most major product areas, yielding a book-to-bill ratio greater than one for the March quarter. Aggregate channel inventory declined once again during the March quarter, despite lower seasonal sell-through and now stands at the lowest level in over a year.

Fiscal Q4 non-GAAP gross margin of 58.2% was slightly better-than-expected due to improved product mix. Gross margins are up 50 basis points from a year ago despite lower revenue. And our fiscal '13 full-year gross margin of 58.7% is the highest in over 10 years.

Our improved gross margin is due to 3 primary factors: first, we have exited and the deemphasized lower margin product lines. Next, we have pursued new product opportunities that add greater value to our customers and therefore, have higher gross margins. And lastly, we adopted a fabless model, which improved margins, while also reducing gross margin volatility.

We are pleased with the progress we've made improving gross margins and believe we have an opportunity for additional gross margin expansion going forward.

Non-GAAP operating expense in Q4 was about $61 million, an increase of about $1.5 million from the third quarter. The March quarter increase was primarily driven by a reset of U.S. payroll taxes, which commenced with the new calendar year.

Non-GAAP R&D spending during the fiscal fourth quarter was $38.5 million, while non-GAAP SG&A expenses were $22.5 million. Our non-GAAP operating margin was approximately 2% in the March quarter.

Effective tax rate was about 15% in the fiscal fourth quarter, up from the third quarter that included a year-to-date true-up benefit from the government's retroactive reinstatement of the R&D tax credit and other lapsed statutes. For Q4, we reported non-GAAP net income of $1.5 million, or $0.01 per diluted share, which was in line with the mid-point of our projections.

For the full fiscal year, we reported a revenue of $487 million, gross margin of 58.7% and non-GAAP EPS of $0.21.

Now let me summarize our results on a GAAP basis. We reported a GAAP net loss of approximately $10.6 million in the March quarter. The difference between our GAAP and non-GAAP results nets out to about $12 million or $0.08 per diluted share. Fiscal fourth quarter 2013 GAAP results include $6.4 million of asset impairments and other adjustments, $4 million in stock-based compensation, $0.3 million in net acquisition, divestiture and restructuring adjustments, and $1.5 million from related tax effects.

Further information, including a detailed reconciliation of GAAP to non-GAAP results, is provided in the financial tables of today's press lease and can also be found on our website at

Now I'll turn to our balance sheet. Cash and investments totaled approximately $297 million at the end of the March quarter. We generated about $8 million in cash from operations during the quarter and received about $16 million in combined proceeds from the divestiture of our Power Meter business and employee stock transactions.

Capital expenditures for the quarter were approximately $6 million. Net inventory was about $57 million in March, down about $3 million from the prior quarter. Days of inventory was flat at 113 days. Our trade accounts receivable was also flat to prior quarter at $62 million in March, while DSO was 52 days.

Let me expand a bit on our forecast for the June quarter. Bookings through the first 4 weeks of April have been strong, with the run rate above the previous quarter. However, customers remain cautious, ordering to very short lead times to minimize inventory accumulation. The higher beginning backlog and broad-based improvement in order rates are encouraging, but the turns fill requirement to achieve our June quarter revenue guidance remains high by historical standards. Ted noted earlier that we currently project revenue for our fiscal first quarter 2014 to be approximately $116 million, plus or minus $3 million.

We project gross margin to be 58.5%, plus or minus 50 basis points, on a non-GAAP basis. The actual change in gross margin should be primarily dependent on the ultimate revenue range and product mix for the quarter.

We project non-GAAP operating expenses will be in the range of $61 million, plus or minus $1 million. The impact from cost-reduction actions is expected to offset the absence of a holiday shutdown, which benefited the March quarter.

R&D is expected to be approximately $38.5 million, with SG&A spending of about $22.5 million. For the September and December quarters of 2014, we are planning to reduce operating expenses as further cost reduction actions begin to take effect. We currently anticipate Q1 interest and other expense will be about $200,000. We estimate the effective tax rate for Q1 will be 10%. The tax rate should remain at approximately 10% for fiscal 2014 and beyond, subject, of course, to future changes in the U.S. tax code.

We estimate Q1 share count will be about 152 million shares on a diluted basis, and we project non-GAAP EPS for the June quarter to be about $0.04 per share at the mid-point of our revenue guidance range.

On the balance sheet, we expect cash flow from operations to be approximately $6 million during the June quarter, with net inventory expected to decrease modestly and days of inventory is projected to decrease to about 105 days.

Days sales outstanding is projected to decline to about 50 in the June quarter, and cash and short-term investment balances are projected to be approximately $300 million at the end of the June quarter.

Bookings trend have broadly improved across our end markets, and we have increased confidence that the March quarter has marked the bottom for our financial results. We are encouraged by the demand in improvement, especially in our core businesses.

Ted discussed some of the revenue growth opportunities we expect to materialize in fiscal '14 and beyond. We believe continued recovery in our core and base businesses, combined with further new product traction, can lead to top line sales growth in FY '14.

As revenue grows, it is quite possible our gross margin can increase to the 60% level over the coming 12 to 18 months, as our sales mix continues to shift to richer margin products.

In the near term, we will take actions to reduce operating expenses as we go through fiscal 2014, which should result in a significant operating margin expansion.

With that summary, I'll turn the call over to the operator for the Q&A portion of the call. Laurie?

Question-and-Answer Session


[Operator Instructions] And our first question is going to be from the line of Anthony Stoss with Craig-Hallum.

Anthony J. Stoss - Craig-Hallum Capital Group LLC, Research Division

Ted, if you wouldn't mind talking about the 8 customers that you have in the SSD side. Give us a sense of when you think revenue will ramp and kind of your expectations on that ramp. And then also same thing on the wireless charging side, can you outline -- you talked about overwhelming interest. Can you quantify that a little bit more in terms of design activity for September or December?

Theodore L. Tewksbury

Yes. Sure, Tony. As you know, I can't, on this public call, tell you who the customers are on the SSD side. But I can tell you that they are some of the top names of OEMs who manufacture SSDs with their own flash memory. That's one set. The second set would be the system manufacturers who -- the very system manufacturers who buy flash memory from the first group, but assemble their own SSD systems. And then the third category would be the data center, the Web 2.0 data center companies, and we all know who they are. And the mix is pretty much equally distributed among those 3 groups. I mentioned the top 8, but there's a lot of interest from other companies as well that gives us a total of about a dozen active opportunities that we're pursuing right now. The first one to go to production, again, I can't tell you who it is. If you think of -- probably the top data center customer, 1 of the 2 top data center customers that comes through your mind will start shipping in the December quarter at relatively low levels. And then that will increase going into FY '15. And then we have another data center customer who will begin shipping at the beginning of FY '15. So that's of kind the landscape on SSDs. We are the only company today that has a PCI Express-based flash controller with an NVM Express Host Controller Interface. And the entire market appears to be congealing around that host controller interface because it is a standard and it allows companies to plug and play with any NVM Express-based flash memory SSD, so a lot of traction on that front. Turning to the wireless charging, as I mentioned, we are currently engaged. We have active -- actively sampled and received a lot of interest from all of the top smartphone manufacturers. So think of your top 10 smartphone manufacturers, we have sampled them all. We have design-ins, what I would call plan of record to go into production with at least 3 of out of that set. And then we have engagements also with battery manufacturers, automotive manufacturers, companies that make accessories, like the pads, sleeves that go in your phone and so forth. That is all -- that activity is all around the magnetic induction products, which will be the first ones to go to market. Now we all know that this is a very large market. I think 1 billion smartphones sold per year, ASPs anywhere from $1 to $2. It's clearly a big market. The big question mark is the timing. And that's where it becomes an art, trying to forecast exactly when these customers are going to go to market. And what we know is that all it takes is one of those several smartphone manufacturers to go to production with our part, and we can easily make our forecast for the year.


And our next question is from the line of Blayne Curtis with Barclays.

Unknown Analyst

This is Chris [indiscernible] on for Blayne Curtis. So you guys, I think, in the last call talked about still driving towards the 20% operating margin goal. Could you just talk about, I mean, your OpEx ticked up a little bit this quarter, understandably, but could you talk about where you are and are you still on track for that?

Richard D. Crowley

Sure. This is Rick. Yes, we certainly are striving to get that 20% op margin goal. And as I mentioned in the prepared remarks, we got cost-reduction plans that we have in place that we plan to implement as we go through the fiscal 2014 to help drive our OpEx down, to help us get there. That, combined with revenue growth and a solid gross margins that we have, I think, can get us there going out of Q4 of fiscal '14, which is the goal. I think that where we're starting is going to be difficult to hit high teens, but we think we can get to the low to mid-teens op margins for the year with, I think, expected revenue growth, combined with the cost reduction plans that we put together here.

Unknown Analyst

That's great. So you do think you can get to that goal on a quarterly basis, exiting the year? Just to clarify.

Richard D. Crowley

Yes, that's still our goal.

Unknown Analyst

Great. Then one other quick question. With Haswell launching, could you just talk about the dynamic you're seeing in the memory interface market? I mean, you mentioned you are actually shipping LRDIMM this quarter. How do you see that ramping through the rest of the year?

Theodore L. Tewksbury

So the product that I mentioned was actually a LRDIMM for DDR3. We still believe that the adoption of LRDIMM in DDR3 will be relatively small. And we've always said that in the Ivy Bridge generation we think the adoption will be about 3% to 5%. But we will certainly be there with this product. The more exciting opportunity is DDR4. We talked in the last call about a -- what we call our Triple Play chipset for DDR4, which consists of the register, the data buffer and the temperature sensor. And in DDR4 and the Haswell generation, we expect the attach rate for LRDIMM to go up to 5% to 8%, and probably even higher, probably up to 10% in Broadwell. But that's more of a FY '15 phenomenon for Haswell.


Our next question is from the line of Glen Yeung with Citi.

Delos Elder

This is Delos Elder on behalf of Glen. I wanted to ask just about specifics in your guidance for the quarter, some of the strength you're seeing, versus the weakness?

Theodore L. Tewksbury

In terms of -- yes, in terms of the guidance. So we mentioned that in communications, we expect it to be up about 3% quarter-over-quarter. And we are seeing strength in the broader-based communications segment. But most of the strength in our business is still coming from the 1/3 of our communications business, which is related to wireless, and particularly 4G/LTE rollouts. So that's what's really driving our strength, perhaps, a little bit more than what you might see at some of the peers. In computing, the strength we're seeing there is in 2 places -- first of all, Q4 was a weak quarter for PC. Both our audio and our timing businesses were down. Both of those are coming back up in the first quarter. So we're seeing a resumption of growth in the PC. But more importantly, in servers, we're coming off that inventory correction that we had in memory interfaces. If you recall back in the December quarter, we took a big spill in our memory interface business, primarily due to an inventory correction, and we're now coming out of that. We had a high single-digit growth in our memory interface business in Q4, and we're looking for similar strength in Q1. So memory interfaces, timing also, should be strong in Q1 across the board. And then, consumer, as Rick mentioned, Rick saw that 15% growth in consumer mostly due to a recovery in our gaming business, which was down pretty hard in Q4, due to the PlayStation 3 to PlayStation 4 transition.

Delos Elder

And I was wondering, is there anything you can point to that gives you confidence that wireless, especially the China TD/LTE built out, is coming this year?

Theodore L. Tewksbury

Well I probably don't have any better information than you do about China Mobile and exactly when those rollouts are going to happen. I did -- as I noted, we still have a lot of strength left in the U.S. Verizon's build-out is starting to saturate. But AT&T is coming on strong and then T-Mobile and Sprint are catching up. So there' still a lot of growth left in the U.S.. In China, the last I heard from -- which is probably -- you probably read the same the Board, China Mobile said they were going to build 20 -- 200k base stations in 2013. The exact timing of that is probably a second half kind of a phenomenon. But I'm constantly hearing different things from the field.

Delos Elder

Great. And I just have 2 more quick questions. At what level do you think gross margin will hit 6% in terms of sales?

Richard D. Crowley

Well, I think this is much mix driven at this revenue level. I think once we get $125 million, $130 million, that just dad's scale from where we are today, where we're going in June will be helpful to get as close to that level.

Delos Elder

Great. And then, operating expenses, is there a specific level on a quarterly or annual basis that you're looking to target?

Richard D. Crowley

There is. But we give specific guidance one quarter out. So I think we're not going to go into the quarter-by-quarter modeling on our op expenses.


[Operator Instructions] We'll go to Betsy Van Hees with Wedbush Securities.

Betsy Van Hees - Wedbush Securities Inc., Research Division

Rick, you mentioned that turn rates remain high by historical standards. So I was wondering if you could remind us what historical standards are.

Richard D. Crowley

Well I think historical standards would probably be, given our mix today and the customer base, in the 45% to 50% for our direct business. And it's still running above that level right now. It's come down a bit from the last couple quarters, based on the beginning backlog build that we had. And of course, I mentioned the good start we've had in April so far, which helped fill in the backlog a bit. So those are kind of the current dynamics.

Betsy Van Hees - Wedbush Securities Inc., Research Division

Okay. Great. And then I was wondering if you could just go a little bit deeper. And then as you look at the different segments, which one have the higher rate -- of turn rates that you need to hit to get to this guidance, by the way, which was great, above what expectations were?

Richard D. Crowley

Well I think that you -- we typically have a high turns fill in areas like memory interface and some of the PC space, where customers expect us to have inventory and they kind of demand that we turn quickly and respond quickly to their order rates. So with memory interfaces kind of coming out of inventory correction, that's also not unusual to see a reasonably high turns fill rate.

Betsy Van Hees - Wedbush Securities Inc., Research Division

Okay. And then, I'm sorry if this -- if I missed this. But don't you guys have a stock buyback in place? And I didn't see in the press release, unless I missed it, that you but any stock back. And I was wondering if you -- what you're -- how much you have left on the buyback and what your plans are?

Richard D. Crowley

Right, Betsy. We have 80 million available for the share repurchase. And we did not do any share repurchases in the March quarter. And we'll resume the share repurchase based on an ongoing evaluation of the market value of our stock, our cash position, onshore, offshore, as well as the overall economic conditions, which, frankly, when you look through the March quarter, there are a lot of cross currents in the -- on the economic position and in the outlook, as well as the semiconductor industry outlook that cause us to be cautious with our allocation to capital with respect to the share repurchase.


And we have no additional questions. So I'll turn it back to our speakers for our closing remarks.

Richard D. Crowley

All right. Well thank you very much for joining us today. As always, we appreciate your interest in IDT and look forward to meeting with you on our marketing trips this quarter and on our next earnings call. Thank you and goodbye.


Thank you. And, ladies and gentlemen, this conference call will be made available for replay that starts today at 3:30 p.m. Pacific Time and the replay of the conference runs until May 6 at midnight Pacific. You can access the AT&T TeleConference Replay System by dialing 1 (800) 475-6701. Please enter the replay access code 287469. International participants may dial (320) 365-3844 and the replay access code 287469. With that, we'll conclude our teleconference for today. Thank you for your participation and for using AT&T Executive TeleConference Service. You may now disconnect.

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