Fri, Jul. 17, 4:16 PM
- Not content with its recent ~$37B cash/stock deal to merge with Broadcom (BRCM +0.2%), acquisition-hungry Avago (AVGO -0.8%) is looking to bid for Broadcom rival Marvell (MRVL +0.5%), "a reputable source" tells Light Reading.
- Marvell moved slightly higher following the report. With a current $6.7B market cap - a deal could require a price above $8B - Marvell would be a relatively easy fish to swallow. However, its product line overlaps with Broadcom's in the Ethernet transceiver, Ethernet switching chip, and Wi-Fi/Bluetooth combo chip markets (among other areas), and the Ethernet overlap could result in antitrust scrutiny.
- There has been speculation Avago isn't done with its buyout binge. The company snapped up LSI, PLX Technology, and Emulex prior to the Broadcom deal, and has a good track record of reaping major cost synergies from acquisitions.
- Meanwhile, Marvell has been viewed as a potential acquisition target as the chip industry continues consolidating. Shares rose earlier this week on a report of buyout interest from state-owned Chinese firm PDSTI.
Thu, Jul. 9, 1:02 PM
- Avago (AVGO -1.3%) has joined Mellanox and Brocade in selling off in response to a major calendar Q2 warning from Fibre Channel and Ethernet adapter card/controller/switch maker QLogic (down 20.9%).
- QLogic, which also posted a calendar Q1 sales miss and provided light guidance in late April, blames its warning on "lower than expected demand due to general weakness in the Company's traditional enterprise server and storage markets, and a build-up of inventory at certain of its OEM customers due to a slower next-generation server transition in enterprise environments." The latter is an apparent reference to Intel's Grantley Xeon server CPU platform.
- Avago recently acquired QLogic archrival Emulex, and before that bought PCIe switch maker PLX Technology. Merger partner Broadcom also has strong server connectivity exposure, via its Ethernet transceiver and switching chips. Stifel has speculated Avago could work on end-to-end Ethernet solutions combining the company's optical transceivers, Emulex's adapter cards, and Broadcom's switching chips.
Tue, Jul. 7, 1:10 PM
- RF chipmakers Skyworks (SWKS -3.8%), Qorvo (QRVO -4.1%), and Avago (AVGO -3.2%) are posting 3%+ declines on what's proving a rough day for many high-beta tech stocks.
- With Chinese equities plunging, Skyworks, Qorvo, and Avago's Chinese exposure could be contributing to their selloff. The Nasdaq is down 0.7%, and the Philadelphia Semi Index 1.7%.
- Avago's decline comes as Oppenheimer's Rick Schafer downgrades merger partner Broadcom (BRCM -2%) to Market Perform. Curiously, he also declares Avago (along with Skyworks) to be a top wireless chip pick.
- Schafer: "Rising RF complexity (and content) remains one of our favorite thematic plays heading into 2H15 ... We see incremental RF content opportunities for both Avago and Skyworks on the forthcoming iPhone 6S ... Skyworks further benefits from 50 percent plus 4G reference design share with China's major baseband suppliers."
- Broadcom shareholders are set to receive either $54.50/share in cash, 0.4378 Avago shares for each Broadcom share, or some combination thereof, with the cash portion of the deal totaling $17B. Broadcom currently trades 7% below the cash payout price, and (based on Avago's current trading levels) 11% below an equity payout price of $56.87.
Thu, Jun. 25, 1:29 PM
- Broadcom (BRCM -0.1%) is partnering with Chinese networking hardware leader H3C (until recently an HP subsidiary) to "explore new market requirements and technical trends to optimize the interaction and performance of current and future platforms and architectures." H3C uses Broadcom's Ethernet ICs in its hardware.
- The company is also partnering with Chinese systems integrator Inspur on 4K/DOCSIS 3.0 set-top solutions relying on Broadcom's chips, and with Beijing-based pay-TV provider StarTimes to "jointly define and develop set-top box offerings in Africa," and "invest engineering resources to develop a series of low-cost set-top boxes and high-end Ultra HD home gateways."
- Broadcom has been taking set-top IC share from STMicroelectronics. On its Q1 CC (transcript), the company stated its set-top/broadband modem chip sales grew at a double-digit Y/Y clip.
- Meanwhile, speculation continues to swirl that Avago (AVGO +0.3%), which is set to merge with Broadcom in a ~$37B cash/stock deal (follows deals for LSI, PLX, and Emulex), is up for further M&A. FBR's Chris Rolland: "They are looking for higher quality, accretive ideas that typically diversify their business. The target list is many."
- With all 4 of Avago's recent deals having a major data center component, Gartner's Sergis Mushell thinks the company could look to fill remaining holes in its data center line, such as power management and timing ICs. IDC believes analog/mixed-signal chipmakers with high gross margins could be in play - Texas Instruments appears to be looking in that direction.
- Prior Broadcom/Avago coverage
Thu, Jun. 4, 9:16 AM
Thu, May 28, 1:34 PM
- In a presentation (.pdf) discussing their planned merger, Avago (AVGO -0.4%) and Broadcom (BRCM -2.6%) state they're aiming for a 40% long-term op. margin, up from the 30% collectively possessed by the companies today. Gross margin is forecast to rise to 60% from a current 57%, and R&D and SG&A spend respectively fall to 16% and 4% of revenue from 20% and 7%.
- Avago and Broadcom, who have $15.1B in revenue between them, are only forecasting a 5% long-term revenue CAGR. However, Avago CEO Hock Tan states the outlook is "probably conservative."
- Avago plans to partly finance the $17B cash portion of the deal via $9B worth of new debt. The post-merger company is expected to have $15.5B in debt and $1.3B in cash; Broadcom shareholders will have a 32% stake. The deal is expected to close in Q1 2016.
- Many potential product synergies exist. Among the possibilities: Wi-Fi/Bluetooth solutions that pair Broadcom's combo chips with Avago RF components; server/storage connectivity product lines featuring a mixture of Broadcom's Ethernet transceivers and switching chips and Avago's adapter cards and optical transceivers - Stifel thinks Mellanox (MLNX -0.3%) could be at risk here - and telecom equipment product lines that combine Broadcom's network processors and switching chips with Avago's optical components.
- Meanwhile, in its FQ2 report (issued in tandem with the merger announcement), Avago has guided for FQ3 revenue of $1.74B (+/- $25M), above a $1.68B consensus. The company reported a 66% Y/Y increase in FQ2 wireless chip revenue (aided by strong Apple/Samsung demand), along with 74% and 64% increases in wired infrastructure and industrial/other revenue (lifted by both organic growth and M&A).
Thu, May 28, 7:21 AM
- Avago Technologies (NASDAQ:AVGO) announces it will acquire Broadcom (NASDAQ:BRCM) in a stock and cash transaction valued at $37B.
- Broadcom shareholders will receive $54.50 in cash per share and 0.4378 shares in the newly formed company as part of the deal
- Avago expects the acquisition to be immediately accretive to earnings and help it generate $750M in annual cost synergies within 18 months of the closing.
- BRCM +0.85% premarket to $57.64 after soaring yesterday off leaked reports of the deal.
- Previously: Avago reportedly in merger talks with Broadcom; shares soar (May. 27 2015)
Thu, May 28, 7:03 AM
Wed, May 27, 5:35 PM
Wed, May 27, 2:26 PM
- The WSJ reports Broadcom (BRCM +16.6%) is "in advanced talks to be bought" by Avago (AVGO +6.4%). Shares of both companies have shot higher.
- A deal would effectively be a merger rather than an acquisition: Avago is currently worth $35.1B, and Broadcom $32B. The post-merger company would have a massive product line spanning a variety of mobile, networking, home electronics, and telecom equipment chip markets.
- Avago has bought a string of companies over the last 18 months amid a massive chip industry consolidation wave, and has been rumored to be eying several others.
- Update (3:37PM ET): Bloomberg is backing up the WSJ's report, while adding a deal could be announced as soon as tomorrow.
- Update 2 (3:50PM): CNBC reports Avago's board plans to vote on the deal tonight.
Fri, May 22, 12:51 PM
- As part of a broader chip stock coverage launch, Mizuho's Vijay Rakesh has assigned Buy ratings to Micron (MU +2.2%), Avago (AVGO +1.8%), and Synaptics (SYNA +2.6%). His targets are respectively $39, $150, and $115.
- Like other bulls, Rakesh sees Micron's PC DRAM sales (recently under pressure) improving in 2H15, aided by the launch of Windows 10 and Intel's 14nm Skylake CPU platform. He also downplays concerns about Micron's 20nm DRAM transition, thinks tri-level cell (TLC) and 3D NAND ramps will drive NAND gross margin improvement, and likes the hiring of Ernie Maddock as CFO.
- Rakesh forecasts Avago will continue benefiting from strong FBAR filter sales (boosted by 4G phone growth), growing smartphone dollar content, and the Chinese 4G ramp (aided by recent carrier tariff cuts). "AVGO is completely booked on its FBAR filter capacity through 2015 and the ramp of its industry leading 8-inch FBAR wafer capacity will likely lead to significant operational efficiencies versus its peers"
- He also notes Cisco is seeing strong sales for its ASR 9000 edge router line, which Avago has exposure to, and expects the Emulex deal to boost margins and EPS.
- TDDI (integrated touch/display driver) ICs, fingerprint sensor sales, and Chinese 4G demand are expected to act as tailwinds for Synaptics. Rakesh forecasts the company will produce FY16 (ends June '16) free cash flow of $304M, and thinks this could pave the way for buybacks.
- Synaptics has made fresh highs, and Avago is within $5 of a high of $136.28. Micron remains 25% below a high of $36.59.
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
Mon, May 18, 12:35 PM
- Xilinx (XLNX +1.3%) is higher after the NY Post reported Intel and Xilinx FPGA archrival Altera have resumed buyout talks. Shares jumped in March after the first Intel/Altera report arrived.
- Last week, Reuters reported Avago (AVGO +1.3%) has reached out to Xilinx, analog/mixed-signal chipmaker Maxim (MXIM +0.6%), and Japanese microcontroller/analog chipmaker Renesas (OTCPK:RNECF) about potential deals. Sources also state Avago has talked with P-E firm Silver Lake about partnering on a deal.
- Avago has acquired LSI, PLX Technology, and Emulex over the last 2 years, and was previously reported to have bid for Freescale before the company agreed to merge with NXP. The company is one of many chipmakers taking part in a consolidation wave driven by both cost and product synergies.
Thu, May 7, 11:13 AM
- Just as Qorvo (QRVO +9%) and Avago (AVGO +5.1%) rallied in response to Skyworks' (SWKS +2.1%) beat-and-raise FQ2 report last week, Skyworks and Avago are rallying today after Qorvo beat FQ4 estimates with the help of strong iPhone 6-related sales, and offered above-consensus FQ1 guidance.
- Needham's Quinn Bolton has upgraded Qorvo to Buy, and set an $88 target. Bolton: "Management expects continued robust revenue growth in C2H15 as it has high visibility into the major Tier 1 OEM platform launches later this year. Additionally, QRVO expects continued 4G adoption in the emerging markets to drive strong growth in F1Q16 and C2H15, echoing recent peer commentary."
- He also notes Qorvo now expects to exceed prior RF Micro/TriQuint merger synergy targets, and that its 2H15 gross margin and op. margin could respectively top targets of 50% and 30%. "We believe QRVO's valuation multiple has yet to reflect the greater than expected synergies, revenue growth and operating leverage."
- Qorvo is now aiming for more than $150M/year in synergies by the end of 2016. Major FQ4 design wins included a diversity switch module for a flagship Android phone set to launch in 2H15, and power amplifier wins for major base station and an 802.11ac Wi-Fi chipset. The company asserts the merger is helping it develop integrated RF front-end solutions combining amplifiers, filters, and diversity modules.
Fri, May 1, 12:12 PM
- A slew of firms have hiked their Skyworks (SWKS +6%) targets after the company beat FQ2 estimates with the help of strong iPhone 6/Galaxy S6-related demand, and (in contrast to many chip industry peers) provided above-consensus FQ3 guidance. Peers Qorvo (QRVO +4.5%) and Avago (AVGO +4.1%) are following Skyworks higher.
- Pac Crest's John Vinh ($110 target): "SWKS confirmed that its SkyOne Ultra front-end module has been designed into Samsung’s GS6. We believe the company’s content increased by $1 in the GS6 vs. the GS5 ... we believe this helped more than offset weakness in the China smartphone market, which was down in CQ1. SWKS still sees a strong ramp of 4G smartphones in China and estimates units growing from 100 million in 2014 to the range of 225 million to 250 million in 2015."
- Raymond James' Steven Smigle ($117 target) notes the SkyOne Mini 2G/3G/4G front-end module line (aimed at cheaper phones) has a number of Chinese design wins, and expects Chinese phone demand to rebound in 2H15. "Total sales for filters sound more bullish compared to last quarter with management believing they will exceed their goal of selling 1 billion TC-SAW filters in 2015 ... The Broad Markets segment also sounds positive with new design wins in various automotive and WiFi connectivity solutions."
- B. Riley's Craig Ellis ($120 target): "[N]ew integrated products such as diversity receive modules are poised to compliment the now-ramping SkyOne Ultra, Panasonic JV ops integration and optimization remains in early-innings, and the ability to price for value gets steadily better as the portfolio increasingly migrates to Integrated or Broad Market products which are now 69.0% of sales."
- Qorvo reports on May 6. Avago typically reports later in May.
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.
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