Sep. 17, 2013, 9:44 AM
- 3D Systems (DDD +2.4%) has been started at Outperform by Credit Suisse.
- Broadcom (BRCM +2.5%) has been upgraded to Positive by Susquehanna.
- Verizon (VZ +0.2%) has been upgraded to Outperform by RBC.
- InterActiveCorp (IACI -1.3%) has been cut to Sector Perform by RBC a week after Daily Beast editor-in-chief/co-founder Tina Brown announced her departure.
- Avago (AVGO +1.3%) has been upgraded to Outperform by JMP.
- Cavium (CAVM -0.8%) has been cut to Neutral by Lazard.
Sep. 16, 2013, 1:16 PM
- Maxim's Ashok Kumar reports ZTE will use a Broadcom (BRCM +2.9%) network processor (NPU) in upcoming edge routers, displacing traditional ZTE supplier EZchip (EZCH -6.6%). While EZchip slumps thanks to Maxim's note and an Oppenheimer downgrade, Broadcom is heading in the opposite direction.
- In its Q2 CC, EZchip stated its sales to ZTE fell 21% Q/Q and 54% Y/Y to $1.7M. However, that was still good for 10% of the chipmaker's Q2 sales. CEO Eli Fruchter added his company "[continues] to see a lot of activity at ZTE," and predicted EZchip's sales to the Chinese networking firm would be up significantly Y/Y in 2013.
- Broadcom's NetLogic unit (recently the subject of a $461M write-down) announced its XLP980 NPU this June to favorable commentary. The chip leverages TSMC's 28nm manufacturing process and delivers 160Gbps of throughput. EZchip's NP-4 chip offers 100Gbps of throughput, and the next-gen NP-5 240Gbps.
- Prior to the XLP980 announcement, SA contributors Value Bulldog and Kerrisdale Capital were already arguing Broadcom's NPU efforts threatened EZchip.
- Discussing its EZchip downgrade, Oppenheimer predicts EZchip's Juniper sales will fall 52%, offsetting a 36% increase in sales to Cisco and a 15% increase for everyone else. It also thinks EZchip's profits could be hurt by 20%-25% if Cisco uses the nPower X1 in future edge routers.
Sep. 12, 2013, 11:54 AM
- Perhaps the most noteworthy announcement involves the introduction of STMicroelectronics' (STM +5.5%) Faroujda transcoding (format conversion) tech, which the chipmaker asserts is the first solution enabling "a home gateway to distribute any type of content to any type of connected device in the home."
- STM has added Faroudja support to several home gateway SoCs. It should help the company better compete against set-top/home gateway SoC rival Broadcom (BRCM +0.7%).
- STM has also announced set-top SoCs supporting UltraHD (4K) video decoding and the next-gen HEVC video-compression format. Yesterday, the chipmaker unveiled gyroscopes optimized for enabling optical image stabilization on smartphones. InvenSense (INVN +1.6%) has been working on similar gyroscopes.
- Broadcom, meanwhile is also rolling out new set-top SoCs supporting 4K and HEVC decoding. CTO Henry Samueli has declared 4K, which could provide the side benefit of boosting demand for high-performance (802.11ac) Broadcom Wi-Fi chips, to be a priority for his company.
Sep. 11, 2013, 10:40 AM
- Apple suppliers Cirrus Logic (CRUS -4.7%), Qualcomm (QCOM -3.6%), Broadcom (BRCM -1.9%), Nam Tai (NTE -1%), Avago (AVGO -1.6%), and (in spite of an upgrade) Skyworks (SWKS -2%) are joining Apple itself in heading south as investors/analysts register disappointment over the iPhone 5C's premium pricing.
- Long expected to be a "low-cost" iPhone that would help Apple win back share from cheaper Android phones that have proven very popular with cost-sensitive buyers in both emerging and developed markets, the 5C is instead being priced as a fill-in for the iPhone 5 (now discontinued). The 16GB model goes for an unsubsidized $549 in the U.S, and (thanks to duties/taxes) $735 in China.
- Cirrus had rallied sharply in the weeks leading up to the iPhone 5S/5C launches.
Sep. 5, 2013, 1:00 AM
- Though Samsung's Galaxy Gear is getting more headlines, Qualcomm (QCOM) has launched a smartwatch of its own, albeit as a proof-of-concept.
- Qualcomm's bulky Toq smartwatch, shown off at the company's annual Uplinq developer conference, makes use of the company's low-power Mirasol displays. Mirasol was pitched as the e-reader display tech of the future before a lack of demand led Qualcomm to end production last year.
- Toq also features Qualcomm's WiPower LE wireless charging tech, can receive smartphone notifications via the company's AllJoyn framework, and presumably has a Qualcomm CPU inside. (PR)
- Other Toq features, such as text-message viewing, Bluetooth connectivity, 3rd-party app support, and the ability to control a phone's music player, strongly resemble those found in the Gear.
- "We expect to make tens of thousands of these, not hundreds of thousands ... A success, for us, looks like our partners picking up and running with this." says exec Rob Chandhok. The company's apparent goal with Toq is to get OEMs to make similar smartwatches, thereby boosting chip sales and saving Mirasol from the technology scrap heap.
- Broadcom (BRCM), which just stepped up its efforts to compete against Qualcomm in the 4G baseband chip market, also sees much potential in wearable device chip sales. The company is hoping OEMs embrace its WICED platform, which allows embedded devices to quickly add low-power, Wi-Fi-based, Internet connectivity.
Sep. 4, 2013, 6:28 PM
- IDC's forecast represents only a slight slowdown in growth from the 44% rate it believes was seen in 2012, and is easily more optimistic than most forecasts made earlier this year. Back in January, Strategy Analytics predicted smartphone shipments would rise only 27% this year to 875M.
- Thanks to strong smartphone demand, IDC now expects total mobile phone shipments to rise 7.3% this year to 1.8B, after declining 1.2% last year.
- Android (GOOG) is expected to claim 75.3% of 2013 shipments; its Q2 share was pegged at 79.3%. The iPhone, aided by an upcoming refresh, is expected to have a 16.9% 2013 share vs. 13.2% in Q2.
- Chipmakers with strong mobile exposure: QCOM, BRCM, SWKS, TQNT, ANAD, RFMD, SYNA, CRUS, MXIM, HIMX, OVTI, AUDC.
Sep. 4, 2013, 1:29 PM
- Analyst Srini Pajjuri sees the purchase of Renesas' 4G LTE baseband chip unit eventually allowing Broadcom (BRCM +1.9%) to become "a viable second source in LTE" after Qualcomm (QCOM +0.9%), an to thereby (as a result of being able to offer more comprehensive solutions) "stem potential share losses" in the Wi-Fi/Bluetooth combo chip space.
- Strategy Analytics estimates Qualcomm had a 97% share of the LTE baseband market in Q1, as the company's big head start in offering multi-mode (2G/3G/4G) basebands and (through the Snapdragon line) integrated baseband/app processors continues paying dividends.
- However, Broadcom, Nvidia, and Intel are all prepping multi-mode LTE basebands, and are looking to have them inside OEM hardware by early 2014. Broadcom says the Renesas deal will speed up the arrival of its LTE baseband, and also provide it with patents and top mobile engineers. Qualcomm is looking to stay ahead with the help of its Snapdragon CPUs, strong multi-band support, and 4G RF front end.
- Broadcom still dominates the combo chip market, but Qualcomm has scored some noteworthy design wins lately.
Sep. 4, 2013, 7:19 AM
- Broadcom (BRCM) agrees to buy LTE-related assets from affiliates of Renesas Electronics (RNECF.PK, RNECY.PK) for about $164M in cash. The transaction is expected to slice about $0.12 from EPS in the December quarter and $0.10-$0.15 from EPS for FY2014. The purchase is expected to be accretive to earnings in 2015.
- Updating its outlook for the September quarter, the company expects revenue of $2.075B-$2.175B (Street consensus is $2.14B), and gross margins to be up about 50-100 basis points. R&A and SG&A expenses are expected to be "somewhat above" the high end of previous guidance.
- CC at 7:30 ET.
- Press release.
Aug. 26, 2013, 1:49 PM
- VMware's (VMW -0.6%) VMworld product announcements have commenced. The most noteworthy is the introduction of VMware NSX, a management/virtualization platform that combines Nicira's software-defined networking (SDN) platform with the networking/security tools found in VMware's vCloud Suite (they allow virtual networking appliances to be set up). NSX is integrated with VMware's vSphere virtualization platform.
- NSX allows VMware to offer a common platform for managing/configuring physical switches, virtual appliances, and the services delivered over them. It amounts to a fresh shot across VMware partner Cisco's (CSCO +0.4%) bow, since it shifts network intelligence away from Cisco's switches and related management tools, and could make it easier to replace Cisco hardware with commodity gear.
- Cisco, which sold off when VMware's purchase of Nicira was announced, is attempting to counter VMware and other SDN players through its proprietary ONE SDN controller and related onePK API, both of which are set to be supported by the company's entire switch/router lineup.
- Brocade (BRCD -0.8%) Vyatta virtual router unit has also been targeting the virtual appliance market.
- Juniper (JNPR -0.2%), which is taking a more collaborative approach to SDN than Cisco (likely due to its smaller market position), plans to have its switches support NSX. Dell, H-P, and startup Arista are also on board.
- Many of the initial hardware supporters are relying on Broadcom's (BRCM -0.6%) Trident II network processor. The chipmaker has long viewed SDN (thanks to its enabling of commodity switch use) as a growth opportunity.
- Early users of NSX include Citi, eBay, and GE.
Aug. 15, 2013, 1:17 PM
Aug. 12, 2013, 9:38 AM
- F5 (FFIV +3.2%) has been upgraded to Overweight by Barclays.
- NetApp (NTAP +1.1%) has been upgraded to Neutral by Baird ahead of Wednesday's FQ1 report.
- T-Mobile USA (TMUS +1.2%) has been upgraded to Market Perform by Oppenheimer following last Thursday's Q2 report.
- Broadcom (BRCM -1.3%) has been cut to Neutral by Goldman.
- Juniper (JNPR -1.7%) has been cut to Sector Perform by RBC.
Aug. 8, 2013, 7:45 PM
- Goldman strategist David Kostin has identified what he thinks are the top 40 most undervalued stocks; at the time he issued the note yesterday, each stock had at least 20% upside to his price target.
- The list: MPC, ADSK, VTR, CRM, AMT, SPG, HAL, DVN, EXPE, SWN, R, ESV, BRCM, CAM, NBL, WYNN, WYN, NE, VMC, PSX, NBR, CCI, APC, EL, NFX, FSLR, GM, YHOO, CERN, EOG, CTSH, GT, QCOM, MON, VLO, SLB, PCP, AMAT, BMY, NOV.
Aug. 5, 2013, 10:31 AM
- Qualcomm (QCOM -1.7%) has been cut to Neutral by Piper.
- Canadian Solar (CSIQ +9.7%) fresh off selling 5 solar plants, has been started at Buy by Roth.
- Riverbed (RVBD +3.2%) has been upgraded to Outperform by Oppenheimer less than a week after plunging on account of missing Q2 revenue estimates and issuing light guidance.
- Broadcom (BRCM +0.6%) has been upgraded to Buy by Drexel Hamilton. Many other firms have been going in the opposite direction.
- Perficient (PRFT +7.9%) has been started at Buy by Needham in the wake of its Thursday Q2 beat.
- MicroStrategy (MSTR +1.6%) has been upgraded to Buy by Roth a week after posting a Q2 miss.
Aug. 2, 2013, 9:56 AM
- Groupon (GRPN -0.2%) has been upgraded to Equal Weight by Evercore, a long-time bear.
- Chipmakers Broadcom (BRCM -1.4%) and Linear (LLTC -1.4%) have been cut to Neutral by UBS. Broadcom received 7 downgrades last week following its Q2 report.
- Guidance Software (GUID -17.3%) has been cut to Sell by Benchmark following its Q2 report and light 2013 guidance.
- ValueClick (VCLK -16.4%) has been cut to Underperform by Raymond James, and to Hold by Needham, in response to its Q2 report and light guidance.
- Citrix (CTXS +0.9%) has been upgraded to Outperform by Credit Suisse.
- Cbeyond (CBEY -4.3%) has been cut to Market Perform by FBR following its Q2 report.
- Automatic Data (ADP -1.2%) has been cut to Neutral by Susquehanna following its FQ4 report.
Aug. 1, 2013, 3:11 PM
- Sources tell ex-WSJ reporter Jessica Lessin Apple (AAPL +0.7%) has acquired Passif Semiconductor, a chipmaker developing radios for the low-power Bluetooth LE (i.e. Bluetooth SMART) standard, which was created with embedded and wearable computing applications in mind.
- Two weeks ago, the FT reported Apple is ramping its iWatch design/engineering efforts. Passif's chips are a logical fit for them.
- The acquisition is noteworthy for Broadcom (BRCM +0.2%), given the company is the Wi-Fi/Bluetooth/GPS combo chip supplier for the iPhone and iPad, and has been developing its own low-power Bluetooth parts.
- Pac Crest recently stated there's a growing risk Apple will abandon Broadcom in favor of home-grown combo chips, given Apple's hiring activity and Texas Instruments' $315M sale of wireless connectivity IP to an unnamed OEM (believed by some to be Apple). If Apple wishes to ditch Broadcom, Passif could provide one piece to the puzzle, but only that.
- Update: Apple confirms it has bought Passif.
Aug. 1, 2013, 12:34 PM
- Though Q2 EPS met estimates and revenue was slightly above, Entropic (ENTR -13.1%) guided on its Q2 CC for Q3 revenue of $55M-$57M and EPS of -$0.07, well below a consensus of $79.8M and $0.03. The revenue guidance implies a Q/Q drop of 19%-22%, and a Y/Y drop of 36%-39%.
- CEO Patrick Henry: "In the past few weeks, we experienced a number of unexpected challenges within our business."
- Among those challenges: slower-than-expected design win ramps at service providers , and a delayed ramp for a digital terminal adapter (HD-DTA) design win with a "flagship" cable MSO (believed to be Comcast). Entropic says talks with the MSO suggest "the ramp has been pushed out until mid-2014."
- Entropic also says it's "seeing an unrelated slowdown" with another MSO (Time Warner Cable?) due to a capex issue it thinks will be resolved in Q1 2014, and is seeing "short-term weakness" at top customer DirecTV due to a new inventory management system.
- Entropic is losing share to Broadcom (BRCM +0.2%), which saw 6% Q/Q Q2 growth for its broadband chip ops, and is guiding for flat Q/Q growth in Q3.
- Q2 results, PR, CC transcript
Broadcom Corp is provider of semiconductors for wired and wireless communications. It provides a portfolio of SoCs that seamlessly deliver voice, video, data and multimedia connectivity in the home, office and mobile environments.
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