Dec. 11, 2014, 1:54 PM
- Thanks to Apple's huge A8 CPU orders, TSMC (TSM +0.6%) had November revenue of $2.32B, -10.5% M/M (seasonality) but +64.1% Y/Y. October sales were up 55.9% Y/Y.
- Sources tell Digitimes sales are also expected to fall M/M in December, but add TSMC is still set to hit Q4 revenue guidance of NT$117B-$120B ($3.74B-$3.84B).
- Meanwhile, Samsung (OTC:SSNLF) has begun producing chips using its next-gen 14nm FinFET process for an unnamed client (quite possibly Apple), a little earlier than expected. The process is expected to be used to make Apple's A9 CPU (going into 2015 iDevices), as well as upcoming Qualcomm processors.
- TSMC might also be responsible for some A9 output, via its 16nm FinFET process (set to enter mass-production in Q2 2015).
Dec. 10, 2014, 6:21 AM
- Samsung Electronics (OTC:SSNLF, OTC:SSNGY) is merging Samsung Electronics America and Samsung Telecommunications America, two sales subsidiaries in the U.S., to enhance efficiency and streamline its organization.
- The move follows a recent reshuffle of Samsung Electronics' senior management and the trimming of its smartphone portfolio to combat declining profit.
Dec. 2, 2014, 4:11 AM
- Samsung Electronics (OTC:SSNLF, OTC:SSNGY) is selling its fiber optics business to U.S. glass panel supplier Corning (NYSE:GLW).
- The sale includes Samsung Electronics' production facilities for the business in China and South Korea, a company spokeswoman said, although she declined to comment on details of the sale, including the price.
Dec. 1, 2014, 2:11 AM
- Samsung Electronics (OTC:SSNLF, OTC:SSNGY) announced a modest reshuffle at its business units today that leaves almost all of its key unit chiefs in place, disappointing investors who had hoped for a major management shake-up amid slumping market share and profits.
- The South Korean company opted not to jettison J.K. Shin, chief executive of its mobile division, or his two co-chief executives – B.K. Yoon and Kwon Oh-hyun, who head the component and consumer electronics businesses respectively.
- Previously: Management shake-up at Samsung, mobile chief likely to be replaced
Nov. 26, 2014, 9:14 AM
- Samsung's (OTC:SSNLF) buyback is its first since 2007, and is equal to over 1% of a current market cap of $184B. The tech/electronics giant will buy back 1.65M common shares and 250K preferred shares.
- The buyback comes with Samsung's shares down over 20% from their early-2013 highs due to mobile share losses/price pressure. Bulls have argued the company's chip and display ops remain in good shape - the former has been buoyed by strong DRAM/NAND sales.
Nov. 26, 2014, 2:37 AM
- Just a day after it was revealed that Samsung Electronics (OTC:SSNLF, OTC:SSNGY) is planning a major management shake-up next month, Samsung has announced that it will sell controlling stakes in its chemical and defense units for 1.9T won ($1.7B).
- Samsung affiliates, including Samsung Electronics, will sell a combined 57.6% stake in Samsung General Chemicals and a 32.4% stake in Samsung Techwin to Korean conglomerate Hanwha Group.
- Update: Samsung will buy back shares valued at 2.19T won ($2B) following the sale.
Nov. 24, 2014, 5:22 AM
- Samsung Electronics (OTC:SSNLF, OTC:SSNGY) is planning a major management shake-up next month, as Lee Jae-yong, the technology group’s presumed heir, looks to cement his control over the company as his father remains hospitalized following a heart attack in May.
- The leadership changes, likely to be announced next week, could declare the replacement of Shin Jong-kyun, head of the group's mobile division.
- Last month, Samsung reported its weakest quarterly earnings in three years, prompting the group to cut back on its smartphone portfolio.
Nov. 18, 2014, 5:52 PM
- In addition to launching fewer smartphone models (thus providing more manufacturing scale for the models that are launched), Samsung (OTC:SSNLF) plans to improve its mobile cost-competitiveness by lowering OLED display costs.
- Samsung Display exec Lee Chang-hoon: "One of the superior things about AMOLED is that [because it has no backlight] it can become cheaper to produce compared to LCD. We are prepared to compete directly with LCD."
- Lee adds Samsung Display, which depends heavily on Samsung Electronics for OLED sales, hopes to get half its OLED sales from other customers in three years. Universal Display (NASDAQ:OLED) would be pleased if that happened.
- Also: Samsung plans to offer a flexible display that can be folded in half (previous) by year's end. However, the company's production targets are modest for now: It's looking to make just 30K-40K flexible displays per month by the end of 2015.
- Universal closed up 4.3% today. Shares fell two weeks ago after Universal disclosed (along with its Q3 results) Samsung isn't using its green host materials in certain new products (the Note 4 is a strong possibility). On its earnings CC (transcript), Universal said it's working on "higher-performing cost-effective next-generation emitter and hosting systems."
Nov. 18, 2014, 2:15 AM
- In a move to combat declining profit and high costs, Samsung (OTC:SSNLF, OTC:SSNGY) is cutting the number of smartphone models it offers next year by 25% to 30%. In October, Samsung reported a 49% drop in Q3 net profit.
- The decision will help Samsung reduce its large smartphone portfolio and better compete with cheaper models from rivals, such as Xiaomi.
Nov. 17, 2014, 5:27 PM
- BMO's Keith Bachman reports seeing improved U.S. iPhone 6 (NASDAQ:AAPL) supplies. "Whereas the iPhone 6 Plus was very hard to find a few weeks ago, supply has improved ... Whereas Apple stores were sold out of virtually all iPhone 6 models a few weeks ago, retail stores now appear to have almost half of the iPhone 6 models across the various carriers available for walk-in."
- Bachman does note there's still "virtually no available stock of iPhone 6 at carrier partner stores, such as AT&T and Verizon." However, online wait times at carrier stores have fallen in half to ~10 days.
- Apple's U.S. site typically shows wait times of 7-10 days for the iPhone 6, and 3-4 weeks for the 6 Plus. In October, there were multiple reports stating Apple is boosting 6 Plus production.
- Apple has added UnionPay, China's dominant payment-processor, as an App Store payment option. UnionPay credit/debit card holders will be able to link their cards with their Apple IDs, something Internet software/services chief Eddy Cue calls "one of the most requested features from [Apple's] customers in China." Quartz notes the agreement could pave the way for an Apple Pay deal.
- The Korea Times reports Samsung (OTC:SSNLF) will supply 80% of Apple's A-series app processors starting in 2016, thanks to a new agreement.
- While TSMC (NYSE:TSM) is manufacturing Apple's 20nm A8 processors, Samsung has been expected to supply a large portion (if not all) of Apple's A9 processors, leveraging a 14nm FinFET (3D transistor) process it's developing with Globalfoundries.
Nov. 13, 2014, 2:17 PM
- DirecTV (DTV +0.2%) will be the first pay-TV major to offer 4K UltraHD content to its subscriber base beginning tomorrow.
- 19 films from Paramount Pictures and K2 Communications will be available initially in the format.
- The company tipped off during its earnings conference call last week that 4K channels will be introduced in 2015.
- Samsung (OTC:SSNLF, OTC:SSNGY) is a partner with DirecTV on the UHD initiative.
- DirecTV earnings call transcript
Nov. 12, 2014, 7:12 AM| Nov. 12, 2014, 7:12 AM | Comment!
Nov. 10, 2014, 2:38 AM
- Samsung Electronics (OTC:SSNLF, OTC:SSNGY) is planning on building a $3B smartphone plant in northern Vietnam, bringing the company's total investment pledges in the country this year to around $11B.
- Samsung has been increasing production in Vietnam to reduce costs and better compete with the low-priced smartphones of Chinese rivals.
- The factory will be built in the Thai Nguyen province, where it opened a $2B smartphone plant in March.
Oct. 30, 2014, 6:37 AM
- Samsung Electronics (OTC:SSNLF, OTC:SSNGY) reports that its net profit nearly halved during Q3, as its mobile business continued to face heavy competition from low-cost Chinese smartphone makers.
- Net profit during the quarter ended in September fell 49% Y/Y to 4.2T won ($4B). That followed a 20% profit decline in the previous quarter.
- Samsung also warned that uncertainty remains for its mobile business in the current quarter, since it will have to boost its marketing efforts to counter an anticipated year-end surge in competitors’ smartphone launches.
Oct. 18, 2014, 3:36 PM
- Samsung (OTC:SSNLF) has developed technology that could increase the data capacity of NAND flash memory chips by as much 50%.
- Single-layer chips improve memory capacity and lower costs by narrowing circuit width. But many believe there is a physical limit to how narrow a circuit can be made. Multi-level chips can raise memory capacity without narrowing circuit width. Multi-level NAND chips are made by vertically stacking memory cells.
- The purported 50% increase can be achieved by combining 3-bit cells (vs. conventional 2-bit) with multi-layering.
- Source: Nikkei
Oct. 14, 2014, 12:35 PM
- Samsung Electronics (OTC:SSNLF) CEO Kwon Oh-hyun: "We'll have to wait and see how things will go next year, but there definitely will not be any game of chicken."
- Micron (MU +2.6%), SanDisk (SNDK +2.3%), and SK Hynix (OTC:HXSCL) must be happy to hear that. Micron and Hynix sold off in late July after Samsung hiked its 2014 DRAM production forecast, and all 3 names sold off last week after Samsung announced plans to spend $14.7B on a new chip fab.
- Cowen's Tim Arcuri recently downplayed concerns about the fab's impact on Micron. "We don’t put a ton of stock in this announcement as we question when – or even whether – this fab will ultimately be built, and we also question the market’s assumption that this would be DRAM."
- Bernstein pounded the table yesterday for Micron, highlighting a valuation of ~6x 2015E EPS and arguing fears about its exposure to a chip inventory correction (following Microchip's warning) are overblown. "The memory cycle has been more supply driven rather than demand driven ... if there is any short-term demand weakness memory makers can just decide to hold on to inventory as opposed to selling at a suboptimal price."
- Micron and SanDisk are both faring well on a strong day for tech.
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