Why Metalink's Announcement Sounds Interesting

 |  Includes: MTLK, STM
by: Shlomi Cohen

The shorter trading week that just got under way in New York will, as usual, be top heavy with announcements of mergers and acquisitions, especially after the long weekend that allowed more time for deals to be closed.

This week will also see a welter of important announcements regarding macro data, such as, for example, the transcript of the US Federal Reserve Open Market Committee discussion on the interest rate at the beginning of the month, the quarterly growth update and, most important of all, the employment figures for May which will be unveiled before the opening bell on Friday.

May is a busy month for investor conferences, and this is set to continue this week with the 35th Cowen & Company LLC Annual SMid-Cap Conference due to open in New York today (May 30). Among the Israeli companies attending the event on the opening day will be Metalink Ltd. (OTCQB:MTLK) and Ness Technologies Ltd. (NASDAQ:NSTC), followed on Thursday by BigBand Network Inc. (NASDAQ:BBND) and Aladdin Knowledge Systems Ltd. (ALDN), and then Gilat Satellite Networks Ltd. (NASDAQ:GILT) on Friday.

Metalink, which I have in my portfolio, made a most interesting announcement last week in which it said it had opened a new regional office and design center in Taiwan. The new office employs no less than 12 professionals - a large number for a company with heavy quarterly losses, losses which are due to the fact that its traditional field of business, VDSL chips, is fading fast, and its new specialty, wireless chips for the new local wireless network standard has not yet taken off.

Metalink, it will be recalled, announced back in March a significant design win with Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd. and STMicroelectronics NV (NYSE:STM) which will integrate the company's wireless chip in Samsung's new set-top box for IPTV. The Asian markets are the ones that have the largest potential for these set-top boxes in the coming year, in particular the Chinese market ahead of the Olympic Games in Beijing, and the opening of the Taiwan office is probably intended to support these sales and others that Metalink will win in the near future.

It would appear from its latest announcement that Metalink has managed to headhunt an entire sales team which previously handled the marketing of wireless chips for US communications chip manufacturer Conexant Systems Inc. (NYSEARCA:CNXT), which has annual sales of $800 million. As is known, Conexant's former CEO Armando Geday is now a special adviser to the Metalink board. The company will be participating in the Computex Taipei 2007 trade show in Taiwan on June 5 and, as is the usual practice at such events, it will probably present its chips together with potential customers from the electronic products manufacturing industry.

Disclosure: Author is long MTLK.

Published originally by Globes [online], Israel business news - www.globes.co.il
© Copyright of Globes Publisher Itonut (1983) Ltd. 2006. Republished on Seeking Alpha with full permission.