Thu, Jan. 8, 4:18 PM
- Hit hard on Tuesday amid a market rout, chip stocks have more than made up for it today: The Philadelphia Semi Index (SOXX +3%) handily exceeded the Nasdaq's 1.8% gain. The index posted a 1% gain yesterday.
- Micron (MU +4.9%) has been one of the standouts, more than recouping yesterday's post-earnings losses. Ditto Freescale (FSL +9.2%), which benefited from a Deutsche target hike, and Marvell, which got a lift from an MKM note. Others: NVDA +3.8%. NXPI +4.7%. AVGO +5%. SWKS +4.5%. CY +6.1%. CODE +5.9%. CAVM +5.2%. SWKS +4.5%. SLAB +4.5%. KLIC +3.8%. SMTC +3.6%. ATML +3.7%. FCS +4.2%. TSEM +4.2%.
- As is their custom, both chipmakers and their clients have been unveiling plenty of new products at CES.
- ETFs: SMH, XSD, PSI, SOXL, USD, SOXS, SSG
Fri, Jan. 2, 8:28 AM
- Citing growing competition and potential fingerprint sensor share loss, Pac Crest has downgraded Synaptics (NASDAQ:SYNA) to Sector Perform. The firm had been bullish on Synaptics since Jan. 2013, when shares were in the 30s.
- Pac Crest's downgrade comes two weeks after rivals Atmel (NASDAQ:ATML) and Fingerprint Cards announced a partnership; it could take time toy yield results. In the near-term, iPhone 6 share gains could affect Synaptics' fingerprint sensor share, since Apple relies on proprietary sensor tech obtained through the AuthenTec acquisition.
- Synaptics now only goes for 10x estimated FY16 (ends June '16) EPS. FQ2 guidance was hiked a month ago.
Dec. 3, 2014, 1:48 PM
- The Philadelphia Semi Index (SOXX +1.7%) is making fresh highs after Microchip (MCHP +4.1%) slightly upped its calendar Q4 guidance, and stated it continues to "see an improvement in our bookings and billings since our earnings call on October 30, 2014."
- Chip stocks had also jumped following that earnings call, during which Microchip said it believed the inventory correction that triggered an Oct. 9 warning (and a major chip stock selloff) was mostly over. While a slew of chipmakers provided soft Q4 guidance after Microchip's warning, fears of a major correction didn't pan out.
- The group outperformed a bit yesterday after Cypress (CY +2.9%) announced it's merging with Spansion (CODE +2.5%), continuing the chip industry's consolidation wave. Several firms have upgraded Cypress and/or Spansion in response, praising the deal's cost synergies.
- Notable gainers include not only chipmakers, but also chip equipment, test/assembly, and IP licensing firms: ARMH +3.8%. AMBA +3%. MX +9%. MXIM +4.2%. AMCC +3.5%. ADI +3.1%. SIMG +3.7%. AMKR +4.2%. SPIL +3.3%. SYNA +2.7%. ATML +3.7%. ENTR +3.8%. AMAT +2.7%. KLAC +2.5%.
- Chip ETFs: SMH, XSD, PSI, SOXL, USD, SOXS, SSG
- Last week: Chip stocks rally after ADI's earnings
Dec. 2, 2014, 12:33 PM
- Atmel (ATML +2%) and Synaptics (SYNA +2.8%) are seeing healthy gains after touch controller rival Cypress announced it's merging with NOR flash vendor Spansion, the latest in a series of big M&A deals to hit the semi industry. Cypress and Spansion have both soared.
- Atmel also squares off against Cypress in other microcontroller markets. Synaptics, which has been gaining touch controller share, recently closed a $465M deal to buy LCD driver IC vendor Renesas SP Drivers.
Oct. 31, 2014, 11:31 AM
- Three weeks after providing a calendar Q3 warning that triggered a massive chip stock rout, Microchip (MCHP +7.3%) has provided Q4 guidance that's in-line with lowered estimates. The microcontroller vendor, which has often seen trends emerge ahead of peers, also said it saw most of its inventory correction in Q3, and expects Q4 sales to be just "slightly below typical seasonal levels."
- Chip stocks are up strongly (SOXX +4%) on a day the Nasdaq is up 1.4%. Since Microchip's warning, a slew of analog chipmakers and microcontroller firms (e.g. Atmel, Freescale, STMicro, Intersil, Linear) have offered light Q4 guidance, and other firms have reported seeing high-end Android weakness (e.g. Synaptics, Cirrus Logic, Amkor).
- On the other hand, several mobile chipmakers (Skyworks, RF Micro, TriQuint, Silicon Motion), some of which have decent iPhone exposure, have provided strong results and/or guidance. Other chipmakers, such as Broadcom, Texas Instruments, and Xilinx, have rallied after delivering in-line guidance.
- Susquehanna's Chris Caso: "By now, we think it’s clear that the weakness MCHP saw in September is not company specific ... The question now is if the full extent of the weakness has been dialed into estimates. If it has, then this would be among the shortest and mildest downturns in many years."
- Notable gainers: SNDK +3.9%. MU +4.1%. AMAT +3.9%. TXN +4.7%. NXPI +3.9%. NVDA +3.5%. MXIM +4.7%. LLTC +5.1%. FCS +9.6%. FSL +8.8%. ADI +6.5%. TQNT +6.8%. RFMD +6.5%. ATML +5.9%. AVGO +5.1%. MRVL +4.7%. AMCC +8.9%. BRCM +3.6%. TSM +4.4%. ARMH +3.3%.
- Intel (INTC +3.5%) has recovered most of the losses it saw yesterday due to Intesil's (ISIL +3.3%) results and guidance, and related comments about a PC chip inventory correction.
- Chip ETFs: SMH, XSD, PSI, SOXL, USD, SOXS, SSG
Oct. 29, 2014, 6:34 PM| Comment!
Oct. 9, 2014, 5:44 PM
- Several microcontroller and analog/mixed-signal IC vendors are lower AH after Microchip warned of weak calendar Q3 sales. TXN -2.2%. ADI -2.2%. LLTC -2.5%. ATML -1.6%. ONNN -1.4%.
- Notably, the microcontroller maker said it believes "another [chip] industry correction has begun and that this correction will be seen more broadly across the industry in the near future."
- Microchip's diversified customer base and recognition of distributor revenue based on sell-through rather than sell-in (unlike many peers) lead it to be seen as a canary in the coal mine for the industry.
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
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
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
Feb. 6, 2014, 9:15 AM
Feb. 5, 2014, 6:41 PM
- Atmel (ATML) has guided on its Q4 CC for Q1 revenue of $320M-$330M, below a $343.3M consensus. The chipmaker is also guiding for Q2 revenue of $356M-$366M vs. a $363.1M consensus.
- Shares have added to the AH losses they saw in response to Atmel's Q4 miss. The company posted a Q4 gross margin of 43.7% (+60 bps Q/Q and +210 bps Y/Y), and bought back $24.2M worth of shares during the quarter.
ATML vs. ETF Alternatives
Atmel Corp designs and manufactures microcontrollers, capacitive touch solutions, advanced logic, mixed-signal, nonvolatile memory, radio frequency (RF) components and application specific integrated circuits.
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