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ARM Holdings, plc (ARMH)

  • May. 29, 2014, 6:57 PM
    • ARM (ARMH) is acquiring Duolog Technologies, developer of a software platform (Socrates) meant to help SoC designers to configure and integrate chip IP  Terms are undisclosed.
    • ARM, whose CPU and GPU cores are used in plenty of advanced SoCs (especially in mobile), cites an interest in helping licensees deal with "increasing SoC integration complexity" as a reason for making the deal.
    • Prior acquisitions: Sensinode, Geomerics, display controller IP,
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  • May. 5, 2014, 4:00 PM
    • Having just unveiled its Seattle ARM (ARMH -0.6%) server CPUs (they're set to ship in Q4), AMD (AMD -0.8%) has announced it's taking out a costly ARM architecture license (it allows AMD to build custom ARM cores), and will use it to create CPUs for "ambidextrous" hardware platforms that can run on either ARM or x86 CPUs.
    • Leveraging a design framework codenamed SkyBridge, AMD plans to roll out pin-compatible, 20nm, ARM and x86 APUs and SoCs in 2015; the ARM chips will use the off-the-shelf Cortex-A57 core. AMD's first custom ARM core, codenamed K12, is expected in 2016. Former Apple mobile processor chief Jim Keller (previous) will head the effort.
    • Analyst Patrick Moorhead notes AMD's solution could yield hardware R&D savings for OEMs. AnandTech: "I don't expect we'll see standard socketed desktop boards that are compatible with both ARM and x86 SoCs, but a pin compatible design will have some benefits for embedded, BGA solutions."
    • The list of companies taking out ARM architecture licenses has been steadily growing, boosting ARM's licensing revenue (+37% Y/Y in Q1) in the process. In addition to AMD, the list includes Qualcomm, Nvidia, and Apple.
  • Apr. 30, 2014, 10:23 AM
    • A week after ARM (ARMH -2.1%) sold off in response to its Q1 results, Citi has downgraded the CPU core developer to Neutral.
    • While ARM's licensing growth remains strong (+37% Y/Y in Q1 and +27% in Q4), investors have been nervous about slowing royalty growth. Royalty revenue (based on the prior quarter's shipments) only rose 8% Y/Y and 7% in Q4, thanks in large part to slowing chip shipment growth (+11% and +16%).
    • Moreover, the numbers suggest ARM's royalty/chip is declining in spite of growing mobile adoption of technologies that boost its royalty rate, such as 64-bit instruction sets, big.LITTLE, and dual/quad-core CPUs. ARM suggests growing shipments of microcontrollers, smart sensors, and low-end smartphones are pressuring its royalty rates for now.
    • ARM, long granted steep multiples by the Street on account of its near-monopoly position in the CPU core licensing space, currently goes for 24x 2015E EPS.
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  • Apr. 23, 2014, 4:03 AM
    • ARM Holdings' (ARMH) Q1 net profit rose to £62.3M ($104.7M) from £51.9M a year earlier.
    • EPS increased to 4.4 pence from 3.7 pence.
    • Revenue climbed 10% to £186.7M ($305.2M).
    • Adjusted pretax profit rose 9% to £97.1M.
    • Processor licensing revenue +38% in dollar terms; underlying processor royalty revenue +8%.
    • 2.9B chips using ARM technology shipped, +11%.
    • ARM signed 26 processor licenses across multiple markets, including mobile computing, enterprise networking and chips for "Internet of Things" devices.
    • ARM's pipeline "remains healthy for Q2 and the rest of the year," the company said. It expects FY dollar revenues to be in line with market expectations, assuming the semiconductor industry improves in H2, as is generally anticipated. Consensus is for $1.31B.
    • Shares are -2% in London. (PR)
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  • Apr. 23, 2014, 12:05 AM
  • Apr. 22, 2014, 5:30 PM
  • Apr. 17, 2014, 5:26 PM
    • After underperforming yesterday in response to a mixture of in-line and soft outlooks from Intel, ASML, and Linear, chip stocks bounced back strongly following more encouraging numbers from foundry giant TSMC, NAND flash giant SanDisk, and well-diversified Cypress.
    • TSMC, seen as a bellwether for chip demand due to a client list that includes most of the world's top fabless chipmakers (Qualcomm, Broadcom, MediaTek, Xilinx, etc.), beat Q1 estimates, issued strong Q2 guidance, and reported seeing healthy sales from mobile clients, and for its advanced 28nm process node.
    • SanDisk offered strong margin guidance to go with a Q1 beat. Cypress posted a slight Q1 revenue beat, and issued Q2 revenue guidance that beat consensus at the midpoint.
    • Notable gainers: ARMH +3.9%. MRVL +2.2%. CODE +5.1%. RMBS +4.4%. IDTI +3%. ENTR +3.7%. PXLW +6.1%. QUIK +2.4%.
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  • Apr. 8, 2014, 10:06 AM
    • ARM (ARMH +1.8%) has been upgraded to Market Perform by Bernstein.
    • Yelp (YELP +2.2%) has been upgraded to Buy by SunTrust, and cut to Neutral by UBS. Oppenheimer upgraded shares yesterday.
    • FireEye (FEYE +3.5%) has been upgraded to Outperform by Wedbush a day after FBN did the same.
    • Vipshop (VIPS +4.1%) has been upgraded to Outperform by Credit Suisse. Goldman upgraded shares last week.
    • KLA-Tencor (KLAC -0.7%) has been cut to Sector Perform by Pac Crest.
    • ON Semi (ONNN +2.9%) has been upgraded to Buy by MKM.
    • (WWWW +2%) has been upgraded to Buy by Craig-Hallum.
    • LivePerson (LPSN -5.1%) has been cut to Hold by Benchmark.
    • CACI (CACI +2.1%) has received a two-notch upgrade to Outperform from Raymond James. Shares were hit hard last week by an FY14 warning.
    • JinkoSolar (JKS +6.4%) has been started at Overweight by Barclays. The firm calls Jinko a vertically-integrated cost leader, and believes the solar up-cycle is still in its early stages.
    • Castlight Health (CSLT +1.3%) has received three bullish ratings and two neutral ones on underwriter coverage day.
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  • Apr. 7, 2014, 7:16 PM
    • As rumored, Qualcomm's (QCOM) next-gen flagship baseband/app processor, the Snapdragon 810, will feature eight 64-bit ARM (ARMH) cores. However, it'll do so by using ARM's big.LITTLE architecture, pairing four powerful ARM cores with four low-power cores meant to handle less demanding tasks. (technical details)
    • ARM has been pitching big.LITTLE (also used by Samsung's Exynos 5 Octa CPU) to chipmakers as a way to improve battery life. It also serves to improve ARM's royalty rates, given the company charges higher rates for chips with more cores.
    • Qualcomm states the 810 is designed for 4K displays, and will be able to record 4K video at 30fps and 1080p video at 120fps. A slightly less powerful CPU, the Snapdragon 808 (2 high-power and 4 low-power ARM CPUs), is designed for 2560x1600 displays.
    • The chips are expected to sample in 2H and ship in commercial hardware in 1H15. Qualcomm, only five months removed from announcing the quad-core Snapdragon 805 (expected in commercial hardware soon), still has the market for high-end, integrated, 4G baseband/app processors to itself. It also has a dominant mid-range share, but competition is starting to pick up.
  • Mar. 25, 2014, 11:50 AM
    • The ecosystem for 64-bit ARM (ARMH +0.7%) CPU cores has "progressed even more quickly than we had anticipated" since Apple showed off its 64-bit A7 CPU last September, writes Canaccord's Matthew Ramsay, while upping his PT to $60 from $55.
    • Since Apple's announcement, Qualcomm, Samsung, Marvell, Nvidia, and MediaTek have launched 64-bit, ARM-based, mobile processors and/or announced plans to do so. In addition, momentum for the nascent 64-bit ARM server CPU market has continued apace: AMD unveiled an ARM server CPU line - the Opteron A1100 series - in January.
    • 64-bit ARM cores carry higher royalty rates than their 32-bit counterparts. Ramsay expects ARM's 64-bit momentum to lead the Street's royalty estimates to move higher.
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  • Feb. 6, 2014, 7:20 PM
    • A week after uncovering documents suggesting Apple (AAPL) is set to begin sapphire production at its Mesa, AZ facility in February, 9to5 Mac reports manufacturing partner GT Advanced (GTAT) has received delivery of 518 sapphire furnace/chamber systems.
    • Analyst Matt Margolis estimates that's enough capacity to produce sapphire cover glass for 103M-116M 5" iPhone displays per year. Another 420 systems are said to be on order (good for 84M-94M additional displays). GT Advanced shares are up 4.7% AH.
    • Apple has extended its multi-year licensing deal with leading GPU core developer Imagination (IGNMF), whose PowerVR cores are found within Apple's A-series processors.
    • The deal is a blow to ARM (ARMH), which has been hoping Apple would adopt its Mali GPU cores. 400M Mali GPUs were shipped in 2013, up from 150M in 2012.
    • Apple plans to open its first Brazilian store on Feb. 15 in Rio de Janeiro. The company's sales to Latin America's largest market have been limited by steep taxes and tariffs.
    • Wal-Mart is once more discounting Apple hardware: The retail giant is selling the 16GB Wi-Fi-only iPad 2 for $299 ($100 below its regular price).
  • Feb. 4, 2014, 9:11 AM
  • Feb. 4, 2014, 3:34 AM
    • ARM Holdings (ARMH) swung to a net loss off £6.2M in Q4 from a profit of £42.5M a year earlier, with the microchip designer hurt by one-off charges such as payroll taxes and impairments.
    • Adjusted pretax profit rose 19% to £95.5M.
    • Revenue climbed 15% to £189.1M, topping estimates of £181.8M, although growth was limited by slower sales of chips for high-end smartphones.
    • Processor royalty revenue +7% in U.S.-dollar terms and licensing revenue +26%.
    • 2.9B chips using ARM technology shipped, +16%.
    • Signed 26 processor licenses.
    • ARM has "a strong opening order backlog and a healthy pipeline of licensing opportunities," and it expects full-year 2014 processor royalty revenues "to grow at a similar rate to that reported over the last three years." The company also forecasts overall revenue to be in line with market expectations.
    • Shares -4.35% in London. (PR)
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  • Feb. 4, 2014, 12:05 AM
  • Feb. 3, 2014, 5:30 PM
  • Jan. 27, 2014, 7:00 AM
    • ARM Holdings (ARMH) has named Stuart Chambers as Chairman to replace John Buchanan, who is resigning due to a medical condition. The latter will end his role as Chairman on March 1 and retire from ARM's board on May 1.
    • Chambers is Chairman of consumer-package maker Rexam and a non-executive director at Tesco, and he was CEO of Nippon Sheet Glass Group.
    • ARM's shares are -1.7% in London. (PR)
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Company Description
ARM Holdings PLC designs microprocessors, physical IP and related technology and software, and sells development tools to enhance the performance and energy-efficiency of high-volume embedded applications.