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Rob Morrison, CFA

 
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  • CEVA: A Good Time To Buy [View article]
    I admit the recent strong licensing number is encouraging but this article is otherwise too easy on the challenges CEVA faces. The last paragraph calls CEVA's business model "unique, protected and profitable." It may be unique and even profitable (most of the time) but it's just wrong to call it protected. Competition does not come merely from other semi IP licensors. If that were true then, yes, CEVA would be the Intel of DSP.

    The real competition is from companies that create their own DSP IP and thereby compete indirectly with CEVA. And, of course, one name stands above all others: Qualcomm.

    The big dream, as I saw it, maybe five years ago, was that CEVA would land Qualcomm as a DSP licensee. Wow, if that had happened CEVA would have looked like a very respectable junior version of ARM and the stock might today be over $100. And there was reason to think that it might happen. Should it make sense for Qualcomm to struggle away in their Austin facility keeping up in DSP when the rest of the world seems to be licensing from CEVA?

    Well, the cold hard truth is that it just didn't happen. But then it got worse. CEVA was inside the iPhone a few years ago and then, as far as I'm aware, the chips of its licensees (Broadcom?) got kicked out by Qualcomm. And now, from something I read a few months ago, Qualcomm has something close to 100% market share in chips for 4G phones.

    I owned CEVA for years and did very well with them and for that performance I'm grateful to the top CEVA people. They are brilliant, devoted, hard-working, etc. I've also published on CEVA on SA.

    I hope CEVA can rise again but for the moment it still looks to me like there's no reason to think that its IP is world beating. Rather, I fear that it's getting business essentially on price and in DSP living off Qualcomm's table scraps. Maybe Intel (with CEVA "inside") will belatedly rise to greatness in baseband and thereby take CEVA to another ride to $34. I'd say it remains to be seen.
    Feb 23, 2014. 06:51 AM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Gold Reserve Inc.: Should You Buy Dirt Cheap Gold In Venezuela? [View article]
    This article is incredible. I never imagined someone could publish something which is not only mistaken in its overall direction, but mistaken in almost every single detail. The author has no idea what the Gold Reserve story is about. The company does not own Brisas. It is owned by Venezuela. The company will never mine Brisas or any of the other properties mentioned. The value in the company is primarily in its international arbitration case against Venezuela, which is now in its latter stages. Go to the ICSID website and look up the case of Gold Reserve vs. Venezuela. There is also value in the Brisas property data, which Venezuela and its Chinese backers need if they want to get building the mine before Hades freezes over.
    Jul 18, 2013. 03:07 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • HudBay Minerals Almost Washed Out... And Looking Like A Bargain [View article]
    Thanks Stephen. Interesting, sensible, logical overview of the HudBay story. That said, there sure are a lot of "ifs" there.
    Jul 9, 2013. 07:01 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Ceva: License Fees vs. Royalty Fees [View article]
    No, when a semi IP company licenses a design it collects the license fee up front. Royalty fees come much later and will typically be spread out over time. In a sense royalty fees ARE better because they recur. With a license fee you collect it and that's it. If all your revenue is from license fees then that revenue level might collapse next quarter. That said, the level of license fee revenue is important in the sense that it is a leading indicator of future royalty revenue.
    Jan 12, 2013. 01:32 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Cirrus Logic: A Poor Man's Apple Play [View article]
    Ceva is not a DSP chip maker. They license semiconductor IP, much of which is DSP based. They compete indirectly with TI, and now TI has announced that by 2012 they will be out of the baseband chip business, which will effectively hand a large portion of that market to Ceva and its licensees.
    Jul 26, 2010. 01:44 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Cirrus Logic: A Poor Man's Apple Play [View article]
    The run-up in ARM on the MSFT news today was way over the top. The two companies already had license deals going back years. If it had been an ARM deal with Intel then, yeah, that would have been a big deal. Ceva has their IP in the X-Box and, I believe, other MSFT products as well, but when the market finds out about it it gives a ho-hum. The market has gone nuts re ARM. Could be the Cramer effect. Ceva has $5 per share in cash vs $1 per ADS at ARM, it has twice the sales per share, more than twice ARM's eps, growing at about the same rate, but trades below $13 vs. over $16 for the ARM ADS. Makes no sense.
    Jul 24, 2010. 02:41 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Cirrus Logic: A Poor Man's Apple Play [View article]
    Maybe even better way to play the Apple (& smartphone) story, but below the radar screen: Ceva. Their IP is in the iPhone4 and iPad via their license agreements with Infineon and Broadcom. They also have a substantial presence in Android anything via, largely, their license deal with Rockchip. Recently they've broken through in DSP for infrastructure via a deal with Mindspeed. Side-by-side with ARM, their closest direct competitor, Ceva is dirt cheap.
    Jul 23, 2010. 06:20 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
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