Mon, May 18, 2:10 PM
- Many chip stocks are turning in healthy gains amid a 0.7% gain for the Nasdaq after the NY Post reported Altera (up 6.2%) has resumed buyout talks with Intel.
- Also possibly helping: China's big-3 carriers have announced major data tariff cuts. Brean has argued the cuts are a positive for RF chipmakers Skyworks (SWKS +5.7%), Qorvo (QRVO +4.2%), and Avago (AVGO +1.9%); the companies benefit from rising 4G phone sales.
- Aside from the aforementioned companies, today's gainers include Synaptics (SYNA +4.8%), Himax (HIMX +2.3%), and Silicon Motion (SIMO +2.3%), each of whom also has Chinese mobile exposure. Other winners include Atmel (ATML +3.7%), Microsemi (MSCC +2.6%), InPhi (IPHI +2%), Intersil (ISIL +2.5%), Silicon Labs (SLAB +2.5%), IDT (IDTI +2.3%), and MaxLinear (MXL +3.5%).
- Chip ETFs: SOXX, SMH, XSD, PSI, SOXL, USD, SOXS, SSG
Thu, May 14, 10:17 AM
- Upbeat about the company's cost cuts and healthy IoT exposure, Stephens has upgraded Atmel (ATML +1.9%) to Overweight, and hiked its target by $1.50 to $10.
- Atmel is now up 14% since beating Q1 estimates with the help of a 10% Y/Y drop in GAAP costs/expenses, providing light Q2 guidance (like many peers), and announcing CEO Steve Laub's retirement 8 days ago.
- 6 weeks ago, the company unveiled an ARM microcontroller line for IoT hardware that was declared to enable devices with 10-year battery lives.
Wed, May 6, 5:10 PM
Wed, May 6, 4:31 PM
- Atmel (NASDAQ:ATML) follows up on its Q1 report by announcing CEO Steve Laub will retire, as well as step down from the board, on Aug. 31.
- The board will launch a search for a successor; both internal and external candidates will be vetted. Laub, 56, has been Atmel's CEO since 2006.
- Q1 results, guidance/details
Wed, May 6, 4:27 PM
- Atmel (NASDAQ:ATML) is guiding for Q2 revenue of $310M-$326M, below a $336.8M consensus. However, a soft forecast was expected after several microcontroller and mixed-signal peers guided light.
- Q1 non-GAAP revenue excludes $1.4M produced by Atmel's XSense touch sensor unit (recently sold to UniPixel). Gross margin was 47.6% vs. 49% in seasonally strong Q4 and 44% in Q1 2014; Q2 GM guidance is at 48% (+/- 1%).
- EPS received a lift from a 10% drop in GAAP costs/expenses to $297.7M, and (to a lesser extent) $9.1M in buybacks. CEO Steve Laub: "Our lower cost structure should allow us to deliver significantly improved profitability throughout the remainder of 2015."
- After initially trading lower AH, shares having risen to $7.70.
- Q1 results, PR
Wed, May 6, 4:09 PM
Tue, May 5, 5:35 PM
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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.
- Chip ETFs: SMH, XSD, PSI, SOXL, USD, SOXS, SSG
Thu, Apr. 23, 12:20 PM
- While the Nasdaq is up 0.3%, chip stocks are selling off (SOXX -1.8%) after Texas Instruments, Xilinx, and Qualcomm all provided soft calendar Q2 guidance. TI and Xilinx also missed Q1 sales estimates, while Qualcomm beat.
- Decliners include Avago (AVGO -3.7%), Qorvo (QRVO -2.5%), Freescale (FSL -3%), STMicroelectronics (STM -3.6%), Atmel (ATML -2.3%), PMC-Sierra (PMCS -2.5%), Fairchild (FCS -2.2%), Cypress (CY -2.1%), Audience (ADNC -6.6%), IDT (IDTI -4.5%), Vishay (VSH -2.9%), AppliedMicro (AMCC -2.3%), and Cavium (CAVM -4.4%). NXP, ON Semi, Linear, Microchip, and Maxim remain lower after falling AH yesterday.
- With the decliners including many microcontroller, analog/mixed-signal, and telecom equipment chipmakers, TI (TXN -7.3%) might be the biggest culprit: The analog/DSP giant blamed soft telecom equipment and consumer electronics demand for its numbers, with particular weakness in mobile infrastructure (a 2014 strong point) and PCs; auto and industrial demand was healthier.
- On its CC (transcript), TI attributed the mobile weakness to delayed carrier capacity upgrades. This morning, mobile infrastructure giant Ericsson posted a Q1 miss blamed in part on weak North American 4G spending.
- Likewise, Xilinx (XLNX -1.3%), which has strong 4G infrastructure exposure, stated on its CC (transcript) wireless sales were weaker than expected due to "continued softness in North America and a weakening in China LTE business." Wired infrastructure sales were in-line, and other markets outperformed.
- Qualcomm largely blamed its guidance on the iPhone 6's share gains and a loss of chip share at Samsung, rather than industry demand issues. Altera, Freescale, Maxim, Microsemi, and Synaptics report after the close.
- Chip ETFs: SMH, XSD, PSI, SOXL, USD, SOXS, SSG
- 8 days ago: Chip stocks rally following Intel/Linear's earnings
Fri, Apr. 17, 9:17 AM
- UniPixel (NASDAQ:UNXL) is acquiring all manufacturing assets related to Atmel's (NASDAQ:ATML) XSense touch sensor ops, a rival to UniPixel's InTouch sensor line, and assuming related costs.
- UniPixel is also taking out a 5-year license (with a 10-year renewal option) on Atmel's XSense patent portfolio and other IP. Atmel will "receive minimum royalties during the initial five year term equal to $16.25 million, of which $9.33 million is being prepaid in cash at close."
- The deal comes two months after Atmel took a $26.6M charge on XSense manufacturing assets, and ahead of Atmel's May 6 Q1 report. It also follows numerous delays by UniPixel in ramping InTouch production.
- UniPixel has soared to $8.55 premarket. Atmel is unchanged.
- Update: UniPixel wound up closing down 6.9% following the news.
Wed, Apr. 1, 5:55 PM
- Atmel's (NASDAQ:ATML) SAM L21 family of ARM-based (NASDAQ:ARMH) microcontrollers consume less than 35 microamps of power per MHz., far below the 120-160 microamps consumed by most low-power controllers. That, together with a sleep mode power draw of less than 200 nanoamps and various power-saving features, leads Atmel to claim the chips can enable embedded/wearable devices and sensors with battery lives of 10 years or more.
- The SAM L21, which comes with built-in flash and SRAM, delivered a score of 185 an industry power benchmark - Atmel states that's 50% above its closest competitor (an STMicroelectronics chip).
- The company argues its support for 5 different "power domains" (compared with just 2 for other chips) with varying levels of resource use improves power efficiency, and that devices containing SAM L21 chips might potentially be powered off energy captured from the human body.
- In addition to Atmel, Freescale and other ARM microcontroller vendors are working on ultra-low-power chips meant for embedded devices. Intel is going after the opportunity via its tiny Quark CPUs.
Wed, Mar. 25, 12:03 PM
- Chip stocks are particularly hard-hit (SOXX -3.6%) on a rough day for tech. The Nasdaq is down 1.3%, and the S&P 0.7%. Going into today, good earnings reports and ongoing M&A activity had led the Philadelphia Semi Index to rise 10% from its Jan. 30 close; the index remains up nearly 2x from its fall 2012 lows.
- AMD (AMD -7.2%) is a major decliner following a UBS downgrade. AMD rival/GPU giant Nvidia (NVDA -5.2%) and memory giant Micron (MU -3.7%) are also selling off, as are merger partners NXP (NXPI -3.8%) and Freescale (FSL -3.4%), RF chipmakers Avago (AVGO -5.2%), Skyworks (SWKS -5.3%), and Qorvo (QRVO -7.1%), LED/RF chipmaker Cree (CREE -4.1%), and high-flying video processor developer Ambarella (AMBA -4.3%).
- Other decliners include telecom chipmakers/ARM server CPU vendors Cavium (CAVM -4.8%) and AppliedMicro (AMCC -4.4%), microcontroller vendors Atmel (ATML -3.5%), Cypress (CY -5.5%), and STMicroelectronics (STM -3.5%), voice processor developer Audience (ADNC -3.7%), analog/mixed-signal chipmakers Linear (LLTC -3.7%), Maxim (MXIM -3%), and Intersil (ISIL -3.5%), FPGA maker Lattice (LSCC -3.9%), and mixed-signal/wireless charging IC developer IDT (IDTI -5.4%).
- Chip equipment, IP, and foundry providers are also underperforming. Big decliners include ARM (ARMH -4.4%), KLA-Tencor (KLAC -4.2%), Lam Research (LRCX -5.4%), ASML (ASML -4.1%), TowerJazz (TSEM -4.3%), Mattson (MTSN -4.5%), Ultratech (UTEK -4.7%), and Tessera (TSRA -6.1%). ASML has been downgraded to Hold by Banco Santander.
- TSMC (TSM -4.6%) is among the decliners in spite of a Digitimes report stating the foundry giant's sales are expected to rise 0%-5% Q/Q in Q2 - consensus is for a 2% drop - with strong Apple A8 CPU orders offsetting soft Qualcomm Snapdragon 810 orders.
- Chip ETFs: SMH, XSD, PSI, SOXL, USD, SOXS, SSG
Mon, Mar. 23, 3:15 PM
- Today's notable tech gainers include OLED materials/IP provider Universal Display (OLED +5.7%), salvage auction site Liquidity Services (LQDT +6.2%), auto site TrueCar (TRUE +8.5%), touchscreen tech developer Neonode (NEON +10.4%), hard drive assembly supplier Hutchison (HTCH +7.1%), Web site owner/ISP United Online (UNTD +5.5%), software outsourcing firm Luxoft (LXFT +5.6%), optical component vendor NeoPhotonics (NPTN +8.3%), and U.S. solar installer Solar3D (SLTD +15.2%).
- Many Chinese names are also rallying today. Standouts include online real estate plays SouFun (SFUN +6.9%), E-House (EJ +4%), and Leju (LEJU +8.1%), online beauty product retailer Jumei (JMEI +5.9%), online classifieds platform 58.com (WUBA +5%), and app developers/publishers Sungy Mobile (GOMO +4.7%), Cheetah Mobile (CMCM +7.6%), and China Mobile Games (CMGE +5.9%).
- The list of major decliners is smaller: It includes cloud healthcare software firm Castlight (CSLT -4.8%), microcontroller maker Atmel (ATML -3.1%), supply chain software vendor Manhattan Associates (MANH -4.3%), Chinese solar cell/module maker ReneSola (SOL -5.9%), and RF filter tech developer Resonant (RESN -8.6%).
- Universal Display is rallying to new 52-week highs yet again amid Galaxy S6 enthusiasm. Solar3D is now up 42% over the last 3 trading days. Heavily-shorted Cheetah Mobile is reversing Friday's post-earnings losses. Castlight is adding to the losses seen on Friday following a neutral Wells Fargo launch.
- Previously covered: Digital Ally, Sonus, xG Technology, IPG Photonics, CyberArk, Immersion, Nvidia, EZchip
Mon, Mar. 2, 1:41 PM
- The Philadelphia Semi Index (SOXX +2.4%) has rallied to new highs after NXP announced it's buying microcontroller, network processor, and RF amplifier supplier Freescale for $16.7B after factoring net cash/debt, the biggest deal yet in the chip industry's ongoing consolidation wave. The Nasdaq is up 0.5%.
- Microcontroller makers are among today's big gainers - NXP/Freescale assert they'll be the world's biggest supplier of general-purpose microcontrollers. Standouts include Atmel (ATML +6%) and STMicroelectronics (STM +3.4%), as well as Cypress (CY +3.1%) and merger partner Spansion (CODE +3.2%).
- Other notable gainers include InvenSense (INVN +3.4%), Ambarella (AMBA +6.3%), Audience (ADNC +5.5%), Cirrus Logic (CRUS +3.7%), Cavium (CAVM +4.2%), ON Semi (ONNN +3.5%), Silicon Motion (SIMO +3.5%), InPhi (IPHI +3.8%), and TowerJazz (TSEM +5.5%).
- With the Mobile World Congress as a backdrop, InvenSense has unveiled a 6-axis SoC that pairs a gyroscope and acceleromoter with a motion processor and related software/algorithms; the company claims 25%-50% better power consumption than rival solutions. It has also launched a software library meant to "provide sensor-assisted positioning in places where GNSS alone cannot provide desired accuracy."
- Cavium has announced its OCTEON Fusion-M processor line for mobile base stations. The chips support up to 16 custom CPU cores running at 2GHz., and are declared by Cavium to enable "Smart Radio Heads" that can adapt to network conditions. They begin sampling in Q3.
- Chip ETFs: SMH, XSD, PSI, SOXL, USD, SOXS, SSG
- Previously: Chip product launches: ARMH, EZCH, BRCM, NXPI, XLNX, IDTI
Wed, Feb. 4, 6:09 PM
- Along with its Q4 numbers Atmel (NASDAQ:ATML) announces it's initiating a $0.04/share quarterly dividend, good for a 2% yield at current levels. The first dividend is payable on March 26 to shareholders on record as of the March 16 close.
- The microcontroller/touch controller vendor adds it plans to continue buying back shares while it pays out dividends. $21.9M was spent on buybacks in Q4, and $209M is currently remaining on Atmel's buyback authorization.
- On the CC, Atmel guided for Q1 revenue of $306M-$324M, below a $338.2M consensus. A $26.6M Q4 impairment charge was taken on manufacturing assets for the company's XSense touch sensor ops.
- Shares are down to $8.00 AH.
- Q4 results, PR
Wed, Feb. 4, 4:18 PM
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