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Freescale Semiconductor Inc. (FSL)

  • Thu, Oct. 29, 12:29 PM
    • Down on Monday following Dialog Semi's Q3 report and up yesterday in the wake of Apple's results/guidance, chip stocks are selling off again (SOXX -2.5%) after leading microcontroller vendor NXP (NXPI -18.2%) posted mixed Q3 results and (more importantly) guided for Q4 revenue to be down by a "low to upper-teens" % Q/Q. The Nasdaq is down 0.3%.
    • Also: 1) NXP rival and fellow European chipmaker STMicroelectronics (STM -5.8%) slightly missed Q3 revenue estimates and has guided for Q4 revenue to be down 6% (+/- 3.5%) Q/Q. 2) Network processor vendor Cavium (CAVM -5%) issued light Q4 guidance, while blaming a distribution model change at its biggest data center customer. 3) Microcontroller maker Atmel (ATML -2.4%, set to be acquired by Dialog) missed Q3 revenue estimates and guided for Q4 revenue of $266M-$286M, below a $296.1M consensus.
    • On the bright side, Apple-dependent Cirrus Logic (CRUS -5.7%) beat FQ2 EPS estimates (revenue was in-line) and provided solid FQ3 guidance, and fellow Apple/Samsung supplier InvenSense (INVN +14.3%) beat FQ2 estimates and issued in-line FQ3 guidance. Cirrus is nonetheless selling off; the earnings call (transcript) was generally upbeat, with management talking up FY16/FY17 growth opportunities related to smart codec and boosted amplifier sales.
    • NXP merger partner Freescale (FSL -15.4%) is naturally seeing big losses. Other decliners include RF chipmakers Skyworks (SWKS -3.1%), Avago (AVGO -6%), and Qorvo (QRVO -2.6%), analog/mixed-signal chipmakers Texas Instruments (TXN -3%), ON Semi (ON -5.9%), MagnaChip (MX -6.8%), Fairchild (FCS -4.3%), Maxim (MXIM -3.1%), and IDT (IDTI -5.2%), and smart TV SoC vendor/STMicro rival Sigma Designs (SIGM -3.2%).
    • Like NXP, Cirrus, and InvenSense, Skyworks, Avago, Qorvo, TI, and Fairchild are Apple suppliers. Fairchild and Maxim have recently benefited from M&A reports (I, II).
    • Both NXP and STMicro reported seeing conditions deteriorate as Q3 progressed. NXP added lower-than-expected chip sell-through led to higher channel inventories, and STMicro stated "lower consumer spending in China is impacting the dynamics of the distribution channel in the region and the industry more globally, particularly in automotive." NXP has added 20M shares to its buyback in an attempt to soften the blow.
    | Thu, Oct. 29, 12:29 PM | 8 Comments
  • Thu, Oct. 22, 4:23 PM
    • Freescale Semiconductor (NYSE:FSL): Q3 EPS of $0.54 beats by $0.05.
    • Revenue of $1.12B (-7.4% Y/Y) misses by $30M.
    • Press Release
    | Thu, Oct. 22, 4:23 PM | Comment!
  • Thu, Oct. 22, 12:24 PM
    • The Philadelphia Semi Index (SOXX +3%) has risen above $90 for the first time since July on a day the Nasdaq is up 1.5%. Helping out: Texas Instruments (TXN +10.4%) soundly beat Q3 estimates, reported positive growth for its analog and embedded processing (DSP/microcontroller) units in spite of a customer inventory correction, and (with the help of iPhone content gains) provided mostly above-consensus Q4 guidance.
    • Meanwhile, Cypress Semi (up 4.1%) is rallying in spite of posting mixed Q3 results and issuing light Q4 guidance. A new $450M buyback is helping.
    • TI/Cypress microcontroller peers NXP (NXPI +4.2%), Freescale (FSL +3.5%), STMicroelectronics (STM +2.5%), and Microchip (MCHP +2.9%) are among the gainers. As are TI analog/mixed-signal peers ON Semi (ON +5%), Intersil (ISIL +3.2%), IDT (IDTI +3.6%), Monolithic (MPWR +3.3%), and Silicon Labs (SLAB +2.6%).
    • Other notable gainers include InvenSense (INVN +2.6%), Nvidia (NVDA +3.5%), Cavium (CAVM +4.4%), Knowles (KN +3.6%), and Lattice Semi (LSCC +7%).
    • On its earnings call (transcript), TI mentioned automotive chip demand (boosted by growing chip content in various systems) was strong. Industrial sales were roughly flat (better than expected), and personal electronics benefited from "demand from one customer" (likely Apple). Wireless infrastructure fell 30% Y/Y (Chinese weakness), but rose Q/Q.
    • Chip stocks also outperformed yesterday after Western Digital announced it's buying SanDisk, Lam Research announced it's buying KLA-Tencor, and CPU core giant ARM (ARMH +2.7%) beat Q3 revenue estimates (EPS slightly missed) with the help of a 20% Y/Y increase in ARM chip shipments to 3.6B, and stated it expects 2015 revenue to be in-line with market expectations.
    | Thu, Oct. 22, 12:24 PM | Comment!
  • Wed, Oct. 21, 5:35 PM
  • Tue, Sep. 8, 3:25 PM
    • The Philadelphia Semi Index (SOXX +3.9%) has risen to its highest levels since mid-August on a day the Nasdaq is posting a 2.3% gain.
    • Likely helping out: Microchip (MCHP +8.4%), still often seen as an industry bellwether (though its commentary accompanying last fall's warning sparked criticism), has adjusted its FQ2 (calendar Q3) revenue and EPS guidance to $545M-$563M ($554M midpoint) and $0.60-$0.66 from a prior $$532M-$569M ($550.5M midpoint) and $0.58-$0.66. The outlook comes after many chipmakers (Microchip included) offered below-consensus calendar Q3 guidance amid an inventory correction, weak PC demand, and slowing Chinese smartphone growth.
    • Microchip's core ops are said to be tracking in-line with prior expectations, and recently-acquired Micrel's above expectations. The 8.6M shares issued in the Micrel deal have been repurchased.
    • Also: Various Taiwanese chipmakers and supply chain firms have reported August sales. Chip packaging/testing firms ASE (ASX +5.9%) and Siliconware (SPIL +4.1%) respectively reported sales were up 5.8% and 5.7% M/M, and up 9.5% and down 4.2% Y/Y.
    • Big gainers include Microchip peers NXP (NXPI +6.8%), Freescale (FSL +5.8%), Silicon Labs (SLAB +4.4%), and Cypress (CY +4.4%). Others include Avago (AVGO +5.8%), Xilinx (XLNX +5.7%), Cavium (CAVM +5.5%), Analog Devices (ADI +6.3%), Synaptics (SYNA +5.4%), Linear (LLTC +4.6%), Cirrus Logic (CRUS +4.7%), IDT (IDTI +4.6%), Sigma Designs (SIGM +4.9%), and chip equipment maker Axcelis (ACLS +8%).
    • SanDisk, ON Semi, and Silicon Motion are benefiting from upgrades/bullish coverage. Apple holds its iPhone event at 1PM ET tomorrow.
    | Tue, Sep. 8, 3:25 PM | 1 Comment
  • Thu, Jul. 30, 1:40 PM
    • With many other chipmakers (including microcontroller rivals such as TI and Atmel) having already provided soft Q3 outlooks, NXP (NASDAQ:NXPI) is rallying in spite of providing light Q3 revenue guidance with its Q2 EPS beat and in-line sales. Merger partner Freescale (NYSE:FSL) is naturally along for the ride.
    • Cost controls helped NXP beat Q2 EPS estimates: GAAP operating expenses fell 1% Y/Y to $393M - R&D totaled $195M and SG&A $198M. Also: $162M was spent on buybacks, and gross margin (non-GAAP) rose 20 bps Q/Q and 10 bps Y/Y to 48.7% (above guidance of 48.5%). Q3 GM guidance is at 48.5%-49%.
    • iPhone NFC chip sales fueled a 39% Y/Y increase in Secure Connected Devices revenue to $276M. Apple M8 motion co-processor sales drove a 29% increase in secure interfaces/power revenue to $303M. Secure ID solutions (smart cards/EMV) revenue fell 4% to $257M, automotive rose 8% to $310M, and standard products (power management and logic ICs) rose 2% to $322M.
    • Q2 results/Q3 guidance, PR
    | Thu, Jul. 30, 1:40 PM | 3 Comments
  • Thu, Jul. 23, 4:18 PM
    • Freescale Semiconductor (NYSE:FSL): Q2 EPS of $0.57 beats by $0.07.
    • Revenue of $1.2B (+2.6% Y/Y) beats by $20M.
    • Press Release
    | Thu, Jul. 23, 4:18 PM | Comment!
  • Wed, Jul. 22, 5:35 PM
  • Fri, May 1, 12:34 PM
    • After giving back most of yesterday's initial post-earnings gains amid a market selloff, NXP (NXPI +4.3%) is up sharply today as upbeat sell-side reactions arrive. Merger partner Freescale (FSL +3.7%) is naturally following NXP higher.
    • Needham's Rajvindra Gill observes that while NXP offered soft Q2 guidance (as many expected), it guided on its CC (transcript) for full-year revenue of $6.2B-$6.3B, roughly in-line with consensus and good for 11% Y/Y growth at the midpoint. He adds Q1 gross margin of 48.5% was above a 47.8% consensus, and that Q2 GM guidance of 48.5% was 40 bps above consensus.
    • Gill, who launched coverage on NXP with a Strong Buy rating and $140 target in March, still sees NXP/Freescale delivering $9+ in 2017 EPS, and asserts the post-merger company will be "a powerhouse in autos, microcontrollers (MCUs), and the Internet-of-Things (IoT)."
    • Separately, an ABI Research teardown of the Apple Watch's S1 chip module turned up (as expected) an NXP NFC controller IC, as well as a second NXP chip (motion co-processor?). AMS provides a complementary NFC signal booster chip.
    | Fri, May 1, 12:34 PM | Comment!
  • Thu, Apr. 30, 9:40 AM
    • In addition to slightly missing Q1 revenue estimates (while beating on EPS), NXP (NASDAQ:NXPI) is guiding for Q2 revenue of $1.485B-$1.535B and EPS of $1.33-$1.43, mostly below a consensus of $1.54B and $1.41. However, a soft outlook was expected after many peers provided one last week.
    • With Apple NFC chip and M8 motion co-processor demand still providing a boost, high-performance mixed-signal chip sales (75% of total revenue) rose 21% Y/Y in Q1 to $1.1B. Standard products (analog/power management chips) rose 9% to $323M.
    • Boosting Q1 EPS, gross margin (non-GAAP) was 48.5%, +190 bps Q/Q and -100 bps Y/Y, and slightly above guidance of 48%; Q2 GM guidance is at 48.5%. Also: GAAP operating expenses only rose 2% Y/Y to $409M; R&D spend rose by $10M to $199M, but SG&A fell by $3M to $210M.
    • Merger partner Freescale (NYSE:FSL) is following NXP higher. Freescale posted a Q1 beat and soft guidance last week.
    • Q1 results, PR
    | Thu, Apr. 30, 9:40 AM | Comment!
  • Fri, Apr. 24, 2:03 PM
    • Though the Nasdaq is up 0.7% thanks to market-pleasing earnings from Google, Microsoft, and Amazon, chip stocks (SOXX -2.1%) are adding to their Thursday losses after Freescale, Altera, Microsemi, and Maxim joined the ranks of chipmakers offering soft Q2 guidance; Texas Instruments, Xilinx, and Qualcomm did so on Wednesday afternoon.
    • NXP (NXPI -4.3%), set to merge with Freescale in a cash/stock deal, is selling off ahead of its April 29 Q1 report. RF chipmakers Skyworks (SWKS -3.8%), Qorvo (QRVO -4.4%), and Avago (AVGO -5.2%) are also seeing steep declines.
    • Other decliners include a slew of telecom/networking, microcontroller, and analog/mixed-signal chipmakers. The group includes Marvell (MRVL -3%), ON Semi (ON -6.9%), Atmel (ATML -3.3%), Cypress (CY -4%), Lattice (LSCC -3.9%), Semtech (SMTC -6.9%), Cavium (CAVM -6%), PMC-Sierra (PMCS -2.9%), InPhi (IPHI -3.8%), and Silicon Labs (SLAB -2.9%). Chip packaging/testing firm Amkor (AMKR -5.7%) is also off; its Q1 report arrives on Monday.
    • As was the case with TI and Xilinx, soft telecom equipment chip demand was often blamed by those guiding light yesterday afternoon. Freescale (FSL -3.5%) stated it expects network processor division sales to be down Q/Q and RF (base station power amplifier) division sales to be flat. Microcontroller, automotive, and analog and sensor division sales are expected to rise.
    • Altera (ALTR -3.3%) stated its "telecom and wireless business, and particularly our wireless business globally looks to be quite weak in [Q2], while the rest for our business will in aggregate be flat to slightly up." Regarding its Q1 miss, the company notes "Industrial, test, compute and storage, and to a lesser extent military, fell short of our forecast" (share loss to Xilinx?).
    • Maxim reports seeing "broad-based softness in communications infrastructure demand" and soft industrial bookings to go with healthier mobile/auto demand. The Galaxy S6 appears to be giving a lift to Maxim's mobile sales.
    | Fri, Apr. 24, 2:03 PM | 1 Comment
  • Thu, Apr. 23, 6:25 PM
    • Though it beat Q1 estimates, Freescale (NYSE:FSL) has guided for Q2 revenue of $1.155B-$1.205B, below a $1.22B consensus.
    • No explanation is given for the outlook in the earnings release. Texas Instruments and Xilinx have both observed seeing soft demand from the mobile infrastructure market, which Freescale is well-exposed to. Freescale's RF sales (inc. mobile power amplifiers) rose 63% Y/Y in Q1 to $184M.
    • Shares have fallen to $38.99 AH; they were down 3.7% in regular trading thanks to TI/Xilinx's numbers. NXP, which is set to buy Freescale in a cash/stock deal, is nearly unchanged for now.
    • Q1 results, PR
    | Thu, Apr. 23, 6:25 PM | 1 Comment
  • Thu, Apr. 23, 4:07 PM
    • Freescale Semiconductor (NYSE:FSL): Q1 EPS of $0.48 beats by $0.04.
    • Revenue of $1.17B (+3.5% Y/Y) beats by $10M.
    • Press Release
    | Thu, Apr. 23, 4:07 PM | Comment!
  • Wed, Apr. 22, 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, 5:20 PM | Comment!
  • Tue, Jan. 27, 4:07 PM
    • Freescale Semiconductor (NYSE:FSL): Q4 EPS of $0.42 beats by $0.09.
    • Revenue of $1.1B (+1.9% Y/Y) in-line.
    • Press Release
    | Tue, Jan. 27, 4:07 PM | Comment!
Company Description
Freescale Semiconductor Ltd offers embedded processors such as microcontrollers and digital networking processors.