Wed, Mar. 4, 4:17 PM
- Avago (NASDAQ:AVGO) held "advanced talks" to buy microcontroller/network processor/base station amplifier maker Freescale (NYSE:FSL) before the chipmaker agreed to a $16.7B deal with NXP (NASDAQ:NXPI), Reuters reports.
- Avago reportedly got cold feet after Freescale's shares surged on an NY Post M&A report last month. However, sources state the company is "still looking for an acquisition that could be transformative."
- Over the last 15 months, Avago has struck a $6.6B deal to buy LSI (it later sold parts of LSI to Seagate and Intel), a $309M deal to buy PLX Technology, and (most recently) a $609M deal to buy Emulex, expanding into a number of enterprise hardware markets along the way.
- $31B worth of chip industry M&A deals took place last year, as chipmakers large and small try to reap cost and product synergies by merging with peers.
- Avago rose 0.9% today to $129.40, leaving it close to Monday's all-time high of $130.87.
Mon, Mar. 2, 2:52 PM
- Freescale (NYSE:FSL), fresh off announcing a deal to merge with NXP, has unveiled the S32V, an automotive SoC/vision processor said to provide "the requisite reliability, safety and security measures to automate and co-pilot a self-aware car."
- The S32V contains a bevy of high-reliability features, as well as private CogniVue's image-processing tech and support for radar, LIDAR, ultrasonic info, and other data streams. It becomes available in July.
- Mobileye (NYSE:MBLY), whose driver-assistance systems rely on the company's proprietary EyeQ SoC, has sold off in response. Wells Fargo is defending the company, arguing competing in the driver-assistance tech market is easier said than done.
- Shares have added to the losses seen after a Q4 beat and solid Q1/2015 guidance were provided last week, and are less than $2.50 above a post-IPO low of $31.11.
Mon, Mar. 2, 9:15 AM
Sun, Mar. 1, 9:56 PM
- Shortly after Reuters reported a deal was close, NXP (NASDAQ:NXPI) has announced it's buying Freescale (NYSE:FSL) for $6.25/share in cash and 0.35 NXP shares for each Freescale share owned.
- Based on NXP's Friday's close, the deal has a value of $36.14/share, nearly even with Freescale's Friday close. It has an equity value of $11.8B, and an enterprise value of $16.7B after factoring Freescale's net debt.
- Freescale shareholders will own 32% of the post-merger company. NXP will pay for the deal with $1B in cash on hand, $1B in new debt, and 115M shares. It's expected to close in 2H15.
- The companies predict $200M/year in cost savings in the first year after closing, and $500M/year eventually. They assert the post-merger company will be "the market leader in automotive semiconductor solutions and the market leader in general-purpose microcontroller (MCU) products." NXP promises the acquisition will be accretive to both EPS and free cash flow.
Sun, Mar. 1, 7:45 PM
- NXP (NASDAQ:NXPI) is close to buying fellow microcontroller vendor Freescale (NYSE:FSL) for a slight premium to Freescale's current ($11.1B) market cap, two sources tell Reuters. The deal would be the biggest in the chip industry's 18-month-long consolidation wave, creating a company with a ~$32B valuation (~$40B after debt) and expected 2015 sales of $12.2B.
- Two weeks ago, Freescale's shares jumper on reports it's exploring a sale; they've more than doubled from their October lows. In addition to making NXP a top player in the fragmented microcontroller market, acquiring Freescale would give NXP sizable network processor, analog/sensor IC, and RF power amplifier businesses.
- Freescale's network processor and amplifier ops have strong 4G base station exposure, while its microcontroller business depends heavily on auto and industrial sales. The company has relatively little consumer hardware exposure.
- Freescale currently trades for 17x 2015E EPS, and is expected by the Street to post 5% 2015 revenue growth. NXP trades for 15x 2015E EPS, and is expected to post 11% revenue growth. If recent deals are any sign, the companies will argue a merger can deliver major cost synergies.
- Update: NXP and Freescale have officially announced the deal.
Tue, Feb. 17, 11:40 AM
- With shares having more than doubled from their October lows, RBC has downgraded Freescale (FSL -2%) to Sector Perform, while keeping its $33 target intact.
- The network processor/microcontroller maker is still up 6% from where it traded before reports emerged on Thursday night stating the company is exploring a sale, as the chip industry's consolidation wave continues at a frenetic pace.
Fri, Feb. 13, 9:15 AM
Fri, Feb. 13, 3:28 AM
- Freescale Semiconductor (NYSE:FSL) has hired investment bankers to explore a possible sale, the NY Post reported, citing a source close to the situation.
- The company went public in 2011 after being taken private in 2006 for $17.6B.
- Freescale's shares have soared over 75% in the last three months, with much of the rise coming after its strong Q4 results.
Wed, Jan. 28, 12:44 PM
Wed, Jan. 28, 9:14 AM
Tue, Jan. 27, 5:35 PM
Tue, Jan. 27, 5:20 PM
- In addition to beating Q4 EPS estimates (while posting in-line revenue), Freescale (NYSE:FSL) is guiding for Q1 revenue of $1.135B-$1.185B, above a $1.11B consensus.
- Driving the EPS beat: Q4 gross margin was 47.2%, up 90 bps Q/Q and 330 bps Y/Y, and soundly beating guidance for a 75-100 bps Q/Q drop. GM is expected to be roughly flat Q/Q in Q1.
- RF chip sales (lifted by Chinese 4G base station demand) were a standout in Q4, rising 71% to $164M. Microcontroller sales +5% Y/Y to $232M. Digital networking -11% to $217M (carrier and industrial weakness). Automotive MCUs +1% to $271M. Analog/sensors +2% to $193M.
- Operating expenses rose 4% to $327M. $74M was spent on capex in Q4, and $249M over the whole of 2014.
- Shares have risen to $29.50 AH, making new 52-week highs along the way.
- Q4 results, PR
Tue, Jan. 27, 4:07 PM
Mon, Jan. 26, 5:35 PM
Fri, Jan. 23, 9:26 AM
- Tezzaron Semiconductor, a maker of 3D memory ICs and SoC memory blocks, has obtained a license for Rambus' (NASDAQ:RMBS) ReRAM IP, along with related specs and validation suites.
- Tezzaron plans to "build ReRAM into storage-class 3D memory devices for military, aerospace and commercial applications," as well as to "implement ReRAM in an assortment of SoCs, FPGAs and processors." The company claims its Novati Technologies unit can use ReRAM to "add hundreds of megabytes of storage to a logic device manufactured in a standard commercial fab." The first Tezzaron ReRAM products are due in 2016.
- Though still in development-stage, ReRAM's proponents have declared it to be a potential flash memory replacement (more than a few would-be replacements have come and gone over the years), arguing the technology can deliver better performance and endurance, lower power draw, and a simpler chip architecture than NAND flash. Startup Crossbar Technologies has its own ReRAM development efforts.
- Rambus, which bought ReRAM developer Unity Semiconductor in 2012, has also struck licensing deals for the technology with Micron (NASDAQ:MU) and Freescale (NYSE:FSL) - Micron and Sony researchers showed off a 16Gb ReRam chip last February. Rambus' Q4 results arrive on Monday.
Thu, Jan. 8, 4:18 PM
- Hit hard on Tuesday amid a market rout, chip stocks have more than made up for it today: The Philadelphia Semi Index (SOXX +3%) handily exceeded the Nasdaq's 1.8% gain. The index posted a 1% gain yesterday.
- Micron (MU +4.9%) has been one of the standouts, more than recouping yesterday's post-earnings losses. Ditto Freescale (FSL +9.2%), which benefited from a Deutsche target hike, and Marvell, which got a lift from an MKM note. Others: NVDA +3.8%. NXPI +4.7%. AVGO +5%. SWKS +4.5%. CY +6.1%. CODE +5.9%. CAVM +5.2%. SWKS +4.5%. SLAB +4.5%. KLIC +3.8%. SMTC +3.6%. ATML +3.7%. FCS +4.2%. TSEM +4.2%.
- As is their custom, both chipmakers and their clients have been unveiling plenty of new products at CES.
- ETFs: SMH, XSD, PSI, SOXL, USD, SOXS, SSG
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