Friday, November 28, 2014
- Taiwanese supply chain firms talking to Digitimes expect the total value of LED lighting output to rise 30% next year, with a doubling of shipments more than offsetting 30%-35% price drops. Research firm LEDinside expects shipment value to grow to $25.7B, or 31.3% of total lighting shipment value.
- On the other hand, the LED backlighting market is expected to continue declining, as prices continue falling and newer LED TVs require fewer chips.
- Though its LED chip/component business has been hit hard by a demand shift towards mid-power LED sales (often used for indoor lighting), CREE's LED lighting product sales are still growing briskly: They rose 51% Y/Y in calendar Q3 to $223.1M. Component/chip sales were down 20% to $173.6M.
- Wafer vendor Rubicon (NASDAQ:RBCN) expects a weak backlighting market to exact a heavy toll on its Q4 results. Demand is expected to pick up in Q1.
- Other industry names: AIXG, VECO, LEDS
- Analysts with Guggenheim Partners try to put a number on the benefit to consumer spending of sustained lower gas prices
- The investment firm thinks $6B will be freed up for consumers in December and a total of $20B-$25B for the November to February period.
- Guggenheim identifies Rite Aid (NYSE:RAD) and Five Below (NASDAQ:FIVE) as two companies which could see momentum pick up beyond expectations due to the spending lift.
- Some huge retail names such as General Motors (NYSE:GM), Wal-Mart (NYSE:WMT), and Target (NYSE:TGT) had a banner day to end the week on enthusiasm over consumer spending trends.
- More on the retail sector's big day: 1) Black Friday read: Demand strong for beauty supplies and toys, 2) Amazon, eBay higher following Thanksgiving sales data, 3) Wal-Mart prints all-time high, 4) Retail ETFs catch a break.
- Related ETFs: XLY, XRT, VCR, RTH, RETL, IYK, FXD, FDIS, PMR, UGE, RCD, SZK.
3:01 PM| Comment!
- Activist Starboard Value has disclosed a 2.2M-share (7.2%) stake in DRAM/SRAM maker Integrated Silicon (NASDAQ:ISSI). (13D filing)
- Starboard says it has "engaged, and intend to continue to engage, in discussions with management and the Board of [ISSI] regarding corporate strategy and Board representation and the composition of [ISSI's] Board, generally."
- Berenberg's Tammy Qiu declares Applied Materials (AMAT - Buy reiterated) and Lam Research (LRCX - launched at Buy) to be two of her favorite chip equipment plays ahead of an expected 2015/2016 slowdown in semi capex.
- Like David Einhorn and others, Qiu expects Lam to gain chip equipment share thanks to strong exposure to the FinFET (3D transistor) etching and 3D NAND flash deposition/etching markets.
- Applied is expected to benefit from both FinFET/3D NAND exposure and Tokyo Electron (OTCPK:TOELF) merger synergies. Qiu: "We believe TEL can improve its margin following the merger with AMAT, from single-digit to above 20%, by exiting non-profitable business, optimizing operations and platform alignment with AMAT."
- She's less enthusiastic about KLA-Tencor (NASDAQ:KLAC) and ASML, launching the former at Hold and reiterating a Hold on the latter. Though liking KLA's process control share (helps with regards to FinFET exposure), Qiu considers shares fairly valued at 21x estimated FY15 (ends June '15) EPS.
- ASML, meanwhile, is expected to see a relatively slow EUV sales ramp. Qiu expects ASML to ship only 40 EUV tools in 2019, below management's guidance for 50-60. In addition, sales of ArFi lithography tools are expected to "decline over time due to re-use and efficiency improvements."
- Altogether, Qiu forecasts semi capex will grow just 2% in 2015 and decline 7% in 2016, after growing 12% in 2014. Memory capex is expected to fare better than foundry/logic capex.
2:01 PM| Comment!
- Ingram Micro (NYSE:IM) has "made a binding offer" to acquire ANOVO, A French provider of reverse logistics and repair services for smartphones, set-tops, and other tech products in Europe and Latin America. Terms are undisclosed.
- The deal is expected to close in Q1 2015, contribute $300M+/year in revenue, and be "modestly accretive" to EPS.
- ANOVO claims 5K "associates" in 11 countries. CEO Francois Lacombe will continue running the company post-acquisition.
- Sources tell Bloomberg Vodafone (NASDAQ:VOD) is "holding internal deliberations and analyzing the financial and regulatory hurdles as well as investor support for a share-based transaction" with Liberty Global (NASDAQ:LBTYA).
- However, they add no formal talks with Liberty are currently underway, and that "valuation and regulatory issues remain key obstacles."
- Liberty has a ~$38B market cap, and $40.1B in net debt. Vodafone is worth $95.1B, and has $34B in net debt. Vodafone closed up 2.5% (with the help of a UBS upgrade), and Liberty closed up 7.4%.
- Prior coverage
- Reuters reports Procter & Gamble (NYSE:PG) is working with Goldman to explore a sale of its Wella hair care unit, and that a deal could fetch ~$7B.
- P&G, which has already been busy streamlining its consumer product lineup, is said to be "exploring all options for the unit," including the sale of just a portion of it. The company bought Wella for $7B in 2003.
- PG +1% AH.
- Already hit hard over the last two years by declining prices, gold and silver miners saw more pain today as commodity stocks in general got hammered thanks to OPEC's decision not to slash crude production.
- Decliners: ABX -8%. GG -6.1%. AUY -9.8%. KGC -8.2%. GFI -9.9%. SLW -7%. NEM -5.8%. AGI -6.9%. PAAS -9%. AG -15.4%. SSRI -11.6%. CDE -11.4%. HL -8.8%. TAHO -7.8%.
- Previous: Precious metals slide alongside oil; Swiss vote ahead
- Bloomberg reports Vodafone (VOD +2.6%) is exploring a "combination" with European cable giant Liberty Global (LBTYA +7.4%). Liberty has soared on the news.
- Liberty operates in 14 countries (12 in Europe), passes 52M homes, and claims 27M customers and trailing annual revenue of $20B. Vodafone has already acquired Spanish and German cable giants ONO and Kabel Deutschland, and has declared it wants to offer mobile/wireline bundles throughout Europe.
- Earlier: UBS upgrades Vodafone
12:59 PM| Comment!
12:56 PM| Comment!
- "OPEC, like Rockefeller, ultimately damned itself," writes Wolfe Research's Paul Sankey. He doesn't see oil demand ratcheting upwards because of the drop in oil prices; instead, he says, the market will only clear at the point of U.S. supply growth destruction.
- This could take months and a price of around $50 per barrel ... "And then we squeeze radically higher. As a result, the world accelerates its move away from oil."
- "This is going to be volatile, and we can't understand how that helps the Saudis. Volatility sells Teslas."
- WTI crude (NYSEARCA:USO) tried bouncing earlier, but is now lower by 8.5% at $67.43 per barrel. The Energy Select SPDR (XLE -6.6%) is also set to close today's shortened session on the lows.
- ETFs: USO, XLE, OIL, UCO, ERX, VDE, OIH, SCO, XOP, ERY, DIG, BNO, UGA, DTO, DBO, DUG, IYE, XES, IEO, CRUD, IEZ, UWTI, PXE, USL, FENY, PXJ, DWTI, DBE, DNO, PSCE, RJN, RYE, SZO, FXN, OLO, JJE, DDG, ONG, RGRE, OLEM, TWTI, UBN
- Fracking sand plays U.S. Silica (SLCA -26.3%), Hi-Crush Partners (HCLP -17.3%), and Emerge Energy (EMES -16.5%) are among the many energy names sporting double-digit declines in response to OPEC's decision not to cut crude production, and the resulting plunge in crude prices. As are proppant providers Carbo Ceramics (CRR -16.2%) and FMSA Holdings (FMSA -16.5%).
- Wells Fargo's Wednesday downgrade of U.S. Silica was well-timed.