Cadence Comes Tumbling After

| About: Cadence Design (CDNS)

Cadence announced rather unimpressive Q2 results on Wednesday. Revenues of $329 million were higher than the market’s expectations and grew 15% sequentially but recorded a 16% year-on-year decrease.

Product revenue was $195 million, maintenance revenue $100 million, and services the balance of $34 million.

In the quarter, 49% of revenues came from the Americas, compared with 40% the previous quarter. Asia followed with a 30% contribution; Japan brought in 18% of overall revenue. Europe’s share was 21% of overall revenue.

For Q3, Cadence projected revenues of $235-$245 million with a non-GAAP loss of $0.09-$0.11 per share. Revenue projections for the year are $1.12-$1.14 billion, compared with the company’s earlier guidance of $1.6 billion. Projected EPS for the year is $0.01-$0.05, while the market was looking for EPS of $1.16.

I have often talked about consolidation within the EDA industry as the first step to improving its future and the possible buy-out of Mentor Graphics. With the recent announcement of Cadence’s hostile takeover bid for Mentor Graphics (NASDAQ:MENT), the dice are finally rolling.

Cadence has already purchased 4.3 million shares of Mentor amounting to 4.7% of Mentor’s common stock through open market transactions. I said that this takeover bid of $1.6 billion, or $16 per share, might be slightly high, but the deal would be worth the money if Cadence is able to leverage the alliance to compete with Synopsys (NASDAQ:SNPS) and get the industry out of the current price wars.

The deal means Cadence would have additional debt of $1.1 billion on aggressive credit terms. Given the market conditions, it might be a difficult debt to repay, but management seemed confident of the company’s ability to pay it back in four years – with or without synergies from Mentor.

Management, however, is worried about the current market conditions. With the sales cycle lengthening and budgets tightening, customers are willing to stay at older nodes. Customers across the globe are willing to take risks in delivery or efficiency instead of investing in superior technology.

On pricing, Cadence is going back to a 90% ratable license mix, which will enable them to keep the value of their technology. This is a step back from the 50% ratable/50% upfront model that they had earlier migrated to. It is unclear what impact this change would have on the company’s financials.

The company’s shares slipped in after-hours trading before recovering marginally to $10.27. However, on Thursday morning, the shares tumbled down to a new 52-week low of $6.9. That puts its market cap at $1.7 billion, compared to Mentor’s $1.2 billion. It will be interesting to see what Mentor’s earnings look like.

So far, Mentor is not talking to Cadence. The company has hired bankers (Goldman and Merrill) to “fend-off” Cadence’s acquisition bid, which, with the current share price situation, may have to go away anyway. If Mentor’s stock also drops dramatically, then paying $16/share may not be a great idea. On the other hand, if Mentor holds up, this puts Cadence in an awkward position. Mentor will point to the Cadence stock and ask shareholders, “You want us to merge with THEM?”

1yr CDNS

Disclosure: None