Mindspeed Takes It Slow (MSPD)

| About: Mindspeed Technologies, (MSPD)

MindSpeed Technologies (NASD:MSPD) joined the army of technology companies that can no longer get a handle on growth. Revenue for Q1 06 (the company's second fiscal quarter) was $34.6 million compared to $33.2 million in the December 05 quarter. Guidance was for the June 2006 to be up as little as 2% over the previous quarter.

Mindspeed, a supplier of semiconductor solutions for network infrastructure applications, had revenue of $111.8 million in 2005, down from $119.4 million in 2004. The company's operating loss was $61.6 million last year. The operating loss for the quarter ending March 31 was $6.3 million, so there is improvement in that department. The company does appear to be cutting costs from a run rate of about $30 million a quarter down to about $25 million.

MindSpeed is yet another company with wonderfully inventive technology that has not been able to show much growth. The company's products are marketed in VOIP deployments, network processors and fiber optic components. MindSpeed also makes products of broadcast video components and xDSL. The company has strategic relationships with companies like STMicroelectronics (NYSE:STM).

MindSpeed traded above $6 as recently as two years ago. It then fell to close to $1 in mid-2005. Today, it trades at around $3.75, giving the company a $400 million market capitalization which is about 3.3 times sales. The company has stockholder equity of about $30 million. Solid, but not spectacular.

The problem, it would appear, that many companies like MindSpeed have is that the number of very good hardware products available to the broadband, consumer electronics, and multimedia markets is growing almost daily. Getting differentiation is becoming more difficult, and pricing is, in most markets squeezed. In this environment, growth is only gained very dearly, if at all.

Douglas A. McIntyre is the former Editor-in-Chief and Publisher of Financial World Magazine. He is also the former president of Switchboard.com, which was the 10th most visited site in the world at the time, according to MediaMetrix. He has been chief executive of FutureSource LLC and On2 Technologies, Inc. and has served on the boards of TheStreet.com and Edgar Online. He does not own securities in companies he writes about. He can be reached at douglasamcintyre@gmail.com.