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John Helzer's  Instablog

John Helzer
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I am a retired 35 year semiconductor professional who worked in manufacturing management, planning, and production control. I must say that I have always been fascinated by the business cycle and it's effect on production, profits, jobs, and of course the stock market.I am very data driven so... More
  • Microchip Technology's CEO Sells Shares
    Microchip Technology's CEO Steve Sanghi is well a well respected Semiconductor Veteran. During the 3Q Conference call on 11/3 he stated:

    "Our guidance is based on continuing demand weakness in the December quarter. We expect the shipment rate in December to be below the actual consumption rate by the customers. We expect this inventory burn-off to largely be over by the end of the calendar year. Therefore, we expect the December quarter to mark a bottom for Microchip for revenue, gross margin and earnings per share during this industry cycle. And we expect the March 2012 quarter to be sequentially up in revenue, gross margins and earnings per share. "

    Note: Microchip is one of the few semi companies that recognize all revenue as distributor sell out rather than sell in.

    Yet, on 11/11. 11/14, and 11/15 he exercised and sold a total of 202,500 options at prices from $36.90 to $37.00

    As many have stated before..."there can be many reasons for insiders to sell"

    But.......Is he making a Market Call?

    Nov 20 1:36 PM | Link | Comment!
  • Atmel Announced Today Layoffs of Contract Workers at US Fab in Colorado
    "Atmel Corp. has ended the contracts of an undisclosed number of temporary workers at its Colorado Springs manufacturing plant, as the California-based semiconductor manufacturer responds to slowing sales and a weakening world economy."

    "He declined to disclose how many temporary workers were involved in the reduction, but added that the company doesn’t  expect to lay off any of its 5,000 permanent employees as officials hope the downturn “doesn’t last much longer.”

    Call it what you will...ending contracts on Fab temporary workers or layoffs of regular full time employees.....demand is dropping!

    Last week Microchip announced Holiday shutdowns at Thanksgiving and Christmas. As the company noted these facilities normally run 24 hrs a day 7 days a week 365 days a year. Microchip does not employ temporary contract workers and will adjust the work schedules of all employees to the market conditions. They did not even layoff in the 2008-2009 downturn.

    On 11/4 AMD announced a 10% staff cut to be completed by the 1st qtr.

    Demand is dropping and the semiconductor companies will see the effects first!

    More on that later.


    Nov 07 8:34 PM | Link | Comment!
  • Markit Eurozone Services PMI - 46.4!
    As manufacturing activity drops in the Eurozone so does services. With Eurozone Manufacturing PMI coming in at 47.1 for October,  the drop in services business activity should not be a big surprise. What is alarming is the magnitude of the drop.

    From the Markit Press Release on 11/4.

    Data collected 12–26 October
    - Final Business Activity Index at 46.4 in October, below flash estimate of 47.2
    - France falls abruptly back into contraction; modest growth in Germany and Ireland
    - Jobs growth stalls and business confidence slumps to lowest level since March 2009 

    From a separate German Government release posted on Bloomberg 11/4.

    "Domestic factory orders fell 3 percent in September and export orders dropped 5.4 percent, led by a 12.1 percent plunge in demand from other euro-area countries, today’s report showed. Orders for investment goods declined 4.6 percent, while consumer goods orders rose 2.3 percent."

    Nov 06 11:30 AM | Link | Comment!
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