Sep. 2, 2014, 10:18 AM
- "The Street's average price target is around $100 ... I think there's potential for more, depending on how fast the adoption of fingerprint technology goes," analyst Steve Jue is quoted as saying in a bullish weekend Barron's column on Synaptics (SYNA +5.2%).
- The paper observes sales of Synaptics' fingerprint sensor modules (obtained through the Validity Sensors acquisition) have grown much faster than expected with the help of a Galaxy S5 design win, and now make up 22% of revenue (the Renesas SP deal could lead that figure to drop some).
- With Android OEMs hungry to counter Apple's integration of a proprietary fingerprint sensor module within iDevices, Synaptics expects industry fingerprint sensor sales soaring to 530M in 2016 from a mere 30M in 2013.
- Barron's also observes Synaptics respectively has 40% and 65% of the touch controller and notebook touchpad markets, and notes shares (going into today, anyway) trade for only 13x forward EPS (exc. cash).
- Shares now +67% YTD. Touch controller rival Atmel (ATML +1.2%) is also higher.
Aug. 7, 2014, 11:29 AM
- Atmel (NASDAQ:ATML) guided on its Q2 CC (transcript) for Q3 revenue of $364M-$382M, unfavorable at the midpoint to a $379M consensus. Recently-acquired Newport Media is expected to contribute $7M.
- When asked about Atmel's guidance, CEO Steven Laub noted touch controller sales are expected to be down by a low-to-mid single-digit % Q/Q - he blames tablet weakness and "customer transitions" in Asia (likely a reference to Samsung's challenges).
- Atmel has also been facing tough touch controller competition from Synaptics.
- Other segments are faring better: Microcontroller and automotive sales are forecast to rise by a low-to-mid single-digit %, memory by double digits, and multi-market/other sales high single-digits.
- Q2 gross margin was 45.3%, up from 44% in Q1 and 42.6% a year ago. Q3 GM is forecast to be at 47% (+/- 100 bps), and Q4 GM around 49%. 3.6M shares were repurchased in Q2 at an average price of $8.
- Q2 results, PR
Aug. 7, 2014, 9:21 AM
Aug. 6, 2014, 4:07 PM
Aug. 5, 2014, 5:35 PM
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Aug. 1, 2014, 6:55 PM
- In addition to beating FQ1 estimates, Microchip (MCHP +2.3%) guided for FQ2 revenue of $560M-$575.9M and EPS of $0.70-$0.74, largely above a consensus of $547.6M and $0.71.
- Microchip, often viewed as a bellwether for the chip industry, says it's "seeing a seasonally normal business environment with strengths in many of our end markets like industrial, automotive, housing, consumer electronics and personal computing."
- Microcontroller revenue rose 5.3% Q/Q and 14.5% Y/Y, with all 3 of the company's microcontroller lines - 8-bit, 16-bit, and 32-bit - posting Q/Q growth. Analog revenue (not counting the Supertex deal) rose 2.6% Q/Q and 6.8% Y/Y. Counting Supertex, analog was 24% of total revenue.
- Gross margin +50 bps Q/Q and +180 bps Y/Y to 59.8%. Microchip expects an FQ2 GM of 59.2%-59.6%.
- Microcontroller rival Atmel (ATML +2.3%) has followed Microchip higher. Atmel's Q2 report is due on Aug. 6.
- FQ1 results, PR
Jul. 23, 2014, 12:25 PM
- Among the year's best tech performers, chip stocks are selling off (SOXX -1.8%) on an up day for the Nasdaq following weak numbers from FPGA giant Xilinx (XLNX -14.5%).
- Xilinx missed FQ1 revenue estimates by over $18M, and also guided for FQ2 revenue to be well below consensus. The company blamed the FQ1 shortfall on soft defense and wireless sales. BMO and BofA/Merrill have downgraded Xilinx; the former thinks Xilinx's 28nm share might be peaking.
- Xilinx stated on its CC (transcript) the wireless weakness was mostly due to soft 28nm chip sales to Chinese 4G base station vendors; Chinese 4G rollouts have long been viewed as a catalyst for both Xilinx and Altera (ALTR -4.7%). Aerospace/defense sales were hurt by program timing issues.
- Meanwhile, switch/router vendor Juniper offered light Q3 guidance to go with a Q2 beat. The company noted on its CC (transcript) "market dynamics" for U.S. carriers, including M&A activity, are affecting project rollouts.
- Also: Analog/mixed-signal IC vendor Linear (LLTC -4.1%) is selling off in spite of beating FQ4 estimates and guiding in-line (8%-11% Y/Y FQ1 rev. growth vs. 9.1% consensus).
- Notable decliners: FSL -5.3%. IDTI -6.4%. EZCH -3.3%. PMCS -4.3%. LSCC -6.8%. CAVM -4.7%. SMTC -4.1%. ATML -3.2%. TQNT -3.1%. RFMD -2.9%. IRF -2.9%.
- Qualcomm, NXP, TriQuint, and Cirrus Logic report after the bell.
- Chip ETFs: SMH, XSD, PSI, SOXL, USD, SOXS, SSG
Jul. 8, 2014, 4:40 AM
- Samsung (SSNLF), Intel (INTC) and Dell have teamed up to create a standard by which household gadgets communicate with each other, called the Open Interconnect Consortium. The partnership also includes chipmakers Broadcom (BRCM) and Atmel (ATML).
- The new consortium will rival the AllSeen Alliance, a similar framework supported by Qualcomm (QCOM), LG (LGEIY), Microsoft (MSFT) and other companies.
Jul. 7, 2014, 10:41 AM
- Atmel (ATML -1.1%) is acquiring Newport Media, a maker of TV broadcast and Wi-Fi/Bluetooth chips, for $140M in cash + up to $30M in performance earn-outs over the next 2 years.
- With NMI having posted 2013 sales of $43M, Atmel is paying 3.3x-4x trailing sales. The deal will be financed with a mixture of cash on hand and credit facility borrowings, and is expected to become accretive in 2H15.
- Atmel declares Newport's low-power Wi-Fi and Bluetooth ICs complement Atmel's microcontrollers, and suggests they're well-suited for embedded/wearables applications (i.e. the proverbial Internet of Things) requiring small form factors and low power draw.
- Broadcom, CSR, and Qualcomm's Atheros unit are among the key players in the Wi-Fi/Bluetooth IC market. Microchip recently bought Taiwanese Bluetooth chipmaker ISSC; Apple bought low-power Bluetooth chipmaker Passif Semi last year.
Jun. 17, 2014, 6:58 PM
- The consolidation wave that has hit the semi industry could soon yield tax inversion deals for foreign firms similar to deals seen in the healthcare industry, says FBR's Christopher Rolland.
- Inversion deals allow U.S. companies buying foreign firms to see lower tax rates if less than 80% of the equity in the new company is owned by legacy U.S. shareholders, and the post-merger company has substantial foreign ops.
- Rolland thinks ARM (ARMH), NXP (NXPI), Mellanox (MLNX), and Taiwan's MediaTek could be among the foreign companies targeted by U.S. chipmakers. Worth noting: Mellanox sells more than just chips, and ARM's business model depends on the company maintaining a neutral status within the industry.
- Meanwhile, Nomura's Romit Shah names 15 potential M&A candidates, and divides them into 3 groups: "Sub-scale companies" with high margins and strong IP; "strategic companies" with compelling product lines; and "undervalued companies."
- Shah's "sub-scale companies:" IDTI, ISIL, MTSI, MCRL, SMTC, SLAB.
- "Strategic companies:" ALTR, AMCC, ATML, CAVM, MPWR, BRCM ($22.5B market cap could make it tough to digest).
- "Undervalued companies:" DIOD, IRF, MSCC.
Jun. 9, 2014, 10:36 AM
- A slew of chip stocks are rallying following Analog Devices' (ADI +5.9%) $2B deal to acquire RFIC vendor Hittite Microwave.
- The purchase is part of an M&A wave that has hit the semiconductor industry over the last 12 months, as chipmakers try to gain scale, cut opex, and grow their cross-selling opportunities by consolidating. Other deals: RF Micro/TriQuint, Avago/LSI, Microchip/ISSC.
- ADI, which shares many telecom equipment, defense/aerospace, and automotive clients with Hittite, predicts Hittite's RF, microwave, and millimeter wave ICs will complement its RF and signal-conversion (ADC/DAC) products.
- Several RF and analog/mixed signal chipmakers are higher, but they're not the only gainers: RFMD +1.8%. TQNT +1.8%. PSMI +2.5%. LLTC +1.6%. MSCC +2.1%. IDTI +3.8%. ATML +3.4%. IRF +1.4%. SIGM +3.9%. AMCC +3.8%.
- Chip ETFs: SOXX, SMH, XSD, PSI, SOXL, USD, SOXS, SSG
May. 29, 2014, 9:45 AM
- MercadoLibre (MELI +3.8%) has been upgraded to Overweight by JPMorgan two weeks after agreeing to change its Venezuelan forex accounting.
- Portugal Telecom (PT -2.2%) has been cut to Hold by Berenberg.
- HomeAway (AWAY -5.3%) has been cut to Neutral by JPMorgan.
- Atmel (ATML +2.2%) has been started at Outperform by ING.
- ePlus (PLUS +1.2%) has been started at Outperform by William Blair.
- Sabre (SABR +1.1%) has been started at Outperform by Bernstein. A long line of IPO underwriters launched coverage with bullish ratings on Tuesday.
May. 19, 2014, 5:38 PM
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Apr. 29, 2014, 5:35 PM
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Feb. 6, 2014, 9:15 AM
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