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EZchip Semiconductor Limited (EZCH)

- NASDAQ
  • Wed, May 13, 12:07 PM
    • EZchip (NASDAQ:EZCH) has guided on its Q1 CC (prepared remarks - .pdf) for Q2 revenue of $27.5M-$28.5, in-line with a $28.3M consensus. Gross margin is expected to be around 75% - it was at 74% in Q1, down from 81.7% a year ago thanks to the Tilera acquisition.
    • The company also tried hard to argue it can offset Cisco's decision not to use EZchip's NPS-400 NPU in its next-gen edge router line cards with various NPS-400 design wins from carriers, networking hardware vendors, and (Internet) data center owners. Tilera's TILE-Mx processors (support up to 100 ARM cores, aimed at data centers) were also cited as a future growth driver.
    • Cisco accounted for 35% of EZchip's Q1 revenue, and ZTE 8%; Cisco sales are expected to grow in 2015 as NP-5 shipments ramp. The NPS processor line is expected to start producing revenue "as early as 2016," and the TILE-Mx line in 2017.
    • Shares remain down sharply, but have slightly pared their premarket losses.
    | Comment!
  • Wed, May 13, 9:26 AM
    • EZchip (NASDAQ:EZCH) uses its Q1 report to state its largest customer (i.e. Cisco) doesn't currently plan to use EZchip's NPS-400 network processor (NPU) in its next-gen edge router line cards.
    • The company adds Cisco (NASDAQ:CSCO) recently began using EZchip's NP-5 NPU (entered production in late 2014), that it doesn't think "a next generation successor for the NP-5 is likely to ship for approximately three years," and that the NP-5 is expected to "continue generating revenues at this customer for several more years beyond this three year period."
    • Concerns that Cisco could drop EZchip in favor of an in-house NPU have been around since the networking giant unveiled its nPower X1 NPU in Sep. 2013. At the time, EZchip said it believes Cisco hasn't made a decision on which processor will succeed the NP-5.
    • Today,  EZchip says it believes Cisco's next-gen edge router line cards will require more throughput than is provided by the NPS-400 (480 Gbps), and that Cisco is "currently developing such a solution in-house." EZchip, for its part, is working on an NPS-400 successor (the 1Tbps NPS-1000) that it hopes to sell Cisco on. The NPS-400 begins sampling in 2H15, and is being considered for other platforms at Cisco (as well as other clients).
    • EZchip has tumbled to $14.28 in premarket trading.
    • Q1 results, PR
    | 3 Comments
  • Wed, May 13, 9:15 AM
    | 1 Comment
  • Thu, Jan. 29, 2:32 PM
    • MoSys (MOSY -6.4%) is having a rough time ahead of tomorrow morning's Q4 report. Shares are 20% below where they traded before the networking SRAM maker posted a Q3 miss and reported seeing a design win slowdown on Nov. 4.
    • This week has seen MoSys announce a partnership with network processor vendor EZchip (EZCH +1%) through which the former will provide a version of its Bandwidth Engine 3 SRAM IC optimized for the latter's NPS processors (set to sample this year, aimed at carrier Ethernet switches/routers and data center hardware).
    • Also: MoSys has been showing off its SRAM and transceiver (PHY) ICs this week at the chip industry's DesignCon conference (runs from Jan. 27-30).
    | Comment!
  • Dec. 22, 2014, 2:33 PM
    • EZchip (EZCH +6.4%) declares its 200-gig NP-5 network processor "is now in full production," and is being "delivered in quantity to EZchip's customers for deployment in Tier-1 carrier and data-center networks."
    • The NP-5 offers twice the throughput of the prior-gen NP-4, and carries an ASP that's 50% higher. EZchip asserts the extra horsepower will enable line cards with "multiple 40-Gigabit and 100-Gigabit ports."
    • The company mentioned on its Q3 CC it's seeing "a lot of activity with ZTE" related to the NP-5, and that top customer Cisco plans to migrate its existing NP-4-based (edge router) platforms to the NP-5. However, EZchip would only say Cisco, which unveiled its nPower X1 processor last year, will "possibly" use the NP-5 in new platforms.
    • EZchip's NPS processor line - it can handle deeper packet analysis, and is aimed at both carrier Ethernet and data center hardware - is expected to begin sampling next year.
    | Comment!
  • Dec. 9, 2014, 1:52 PM
    • Verizon CFO Fran Shammo has promised his company will continue growing wireless capex (albeit while cutting wireline capex) to keep up with data traffic growth. Small cells and smart antennas were mentioned as areas of interest.
    • The remarks have been well-received by investors in telecom equipment and component/chip vendors, many of whom have been hit hard by soft North American and (to an extent) European spending. The Nasdaq is up 0.3%.
    • Gainers: JDSU +3.6%. FNSR +3.1%. CYNI +10.1%. INFN +2.8%. CIEN +1.9%. AMCC +3.7%. PMCS +3.7%. ZHNE +3%. OCLR +5.4%. AFOP +2.8%. ADTN +2.5%. UBNT +2.2%. XXIA +1.7%. CALX +3.5%. EZCH +2.9%. SONS +2.4%. Sonus is also benefiting from a bullish Wedbush coverage launch.
    • The group was pummeled in November after AT&T set a 2015 capex budget of $18B, down from 2014's $21B.
    | 1 Comment
  • Nov. 26, 2014, 2:52 PM
    • Chip stocks are outperforming after Analog Devices (ADI +5.2%) beat FQ4 estimates and offered in-line FQ1 guidance. The Philadelphia Semi Index (SOXX +1.9%) has made new highs.
    • Notable gainers include many analog/mixed-signal and telecom IC firms: TXN +3%. LLTC +2.7%. SMTC +3.1%. ISIL +3.3%. SWKS +3.7%. AVGO +2.9%. OVTI +3.2%. FSL +3.1%. EZCH +2.5%. XLNX +2.3%. ALTR +2.1%. MX +4.3%. PMCS +2.7%. BRCM +2%.
    • On its CC (transcript), ADI noted its telecom equipment chip sales are holding up well in spite of weak capex, aided by the fact its dollar content for 4G base stations is "at least 20% to 30% better" than for 3G base stations. The company also mentioned its lead times were stable in FQ4.
    • Chip ETFs: SMH, XSD, PSI, SOXL, USD, SOXS, SSG
    | 3 Comments
  • Nov. 12, 2014, 11:45 AM
    • With weak carrier spending continuing to take a toll, EZchip (NASDAQ:EZCH) guided on its Q3 CC (webcast) for Q4 revenue of $22M-$24M, below a $25.3M consensus. The guidance includes nearly two quarters of revenue from Tilera; EZchip doesn't plan to separately break out Tilera's revenue going forward.
    • Sales to top customer Cisco (43% of Q3 revenue) fell Q/Q, as the networking giant (reports after the bell) contends with soft carrier orders. Nonetheless, EZchip expects its full-year Cisco sales to be up Y/Y.
    • EZchip expects Cisco to use its next-gen NP-5 processor for its existing edge router platforms, and says it could possibly do so for new platforms. Shares plunged a year ago after Cisco unveiled its nPower X1 processor.
    • ZTE sales (8% of revenue) fell sharply Q/Q. EZchip expects sales to bounce as ZTE begins using the NP-5. Juniper sales (7% of revenue) are expected to continue declining. Revenue from all other customers (42% of revenue) rose 87% Y/Y, and reached a new record.
    • The first design win has been obtained for EZchip's NPS processor line (features more programmability). EZchip claims strong NPS interest from both equipment vendors and data center owners.
    • EZchip issued a Q3 warning back on Oct. 6.
    | Comment!
  • Oct. 27, 2014, 11:46 AM
    • Citing the implications of Juniper's Q4 guidance and industry commentary, Chardan Capital's Jay Srivasta has downgraded EZchip (EZCH -2.8%) to Neutral ahead of its Nov. 12 Q3 report, and cut his target by $8 to $22.
    • Srivasta notes Juniper stated U.S. carrier spending remains weak, and that demand from enterprises and European carriers is also softening. Juniper also said its "planning assumption" is for growth to resume in 2H15.
    • Though admitting Juniper only accounts for 6% of EZchip's revenue, Srivasta thinks Cisco (39% of revenue) and ZTE (20%) could be dealing with similar issues, something that puts EZchip's Q4 consensus estimates at risk.
    • Cisco's service provider orders were down 11% Y/Y in the July quarter. Sales of its ASR 9000 edge routers (feature EZchip's network processors) still rose at a double-digit clip.
    | Comment!
  • Oct. 6, 2014, 11:30 AM
    • EZchip (EZCH -12.5%), a top supplier of network processors for edge/access routers, now expects Q3 revenue of $19M, below prior guidance of $22M and a $22.6M consensus.
    • CEO Eli Fruchter: "We have seen weakness in orders as well as inventory adjustments across most of our key customers that are serving the carrier networking equipment space. We believe this is a temporary slowdown, caused primarily by a weaker carrier spending environment that the market is currently going through." Like others, he's optimistic growth will soon pick up.
    • Fruchter's remarks echo those from Cisco (EZchip's top customer), Juniper, Ciena, Finisar, JDS Uniphase, and several other firms. Soft North American wireline capex (led by AT&T) has especially been taking a toll on the industry.
    • Several telecom equipment and component/chip suppliers are following EZchip lower. CIEN -2.8%. CAVM -2.8%. OCLR -2.7%. ZHNE -2.7%. CYNI -3.1%. AFOP -2.1%. NPTN -2.4%. OPLK -1.7%.
    | Comment!
  • Aug. 28, 2014, 11:33 AM
    • EZchip (NASDAQ:EZCH) has soared over the last 30 minutes of trading. Volume is already over 2x the daily average.
    • A rumor that the network processor vendor has cancelled a Roth conference presentation (set for Sep. 3) could be playing a role. Shares have rallied on M&A hopes in the past - a long list of chipmakers have been acquired over the last 9 months.
    | Comment!
  • Aug. 14, 2014, 12:40 PM
    • Six firms have hiked their Cisco (CSCO -2.8%) targets after the company beat FQ4 estimates, issued mixed FQ1 guidance, and announced plans to cut another 6K jobs. But that isn't stopping shares from selling off due to worries about weak demand from carriers (orders -11% Y/Y) and emerging markets (orders -9%).
    • "Notwithstanding the fact that capex will be fairly weak in [2H14], Cisco's [carrier] order performance in the first calendar half of 2014 demonstrates meaningful share loss in addition to soft carrier spending," says MKM (Neutral).
    • Nonetheless, the firm thinks Cisco's total orders will rise at or near a low double-digit % in FQ1 (favorable comps will help). "We still believe it is profitable to own Cisco when orders and revenue growth are accelerating."
    • Bulls are focusing on healthy enterprise orders and strong early uptake for the Nexus 9000/ACI SDN and networking virtualization platform. John Chambers mentioned on the CC (transcript) the platform's customer count more than tripled in FQ4 to 580+, and that there are over 60 customers for the related APIC software controller (just launched).
    • Several peers and suppliers with strong carrier exposure are selling off. Cisco's numbers follow a soft outlook from JDS Uniphase, and coincide with light guidance from Oclaro. ALU -1.6%. JNPR -1.8%. FN -7.4%. ZHNE -2.1%. EZCH -3.8%.
    • Prior Cisco earnings coverage
    | 4 Comments
  • 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
    | 2 Comments
  • Jun. 17, 2014, 9:55 AM
    • Feltl has upgraded EZchip (EZCH +3.1%) to Strong Buy, and set a $31 PT.
    • The network processor vendor's shares popped last month following a Q1 beat that was fueled by a 31% Y/Y increase in sales to top customer Cisco (boosted by strong ASR 9000 edge router demand), and a 172% increase in sales to #2 customer ZTE.
    • SA author Darspal S. Mann recently argued Street estimates for 25% 2014 revenue growth may be conservative, given the potential for EZchip's next-gen NP5 processor (can handle 240Gbps) to start contributing in 2H. Mann notes the NP-5 has an ASP that's 60% higher than that of the prior-gen NP-4.
    | Comment!
  • Feb. 26, 2014, 4:12 PM
    • Up moderately for much of the day as part of a broader rally in chip stocks, EZchip (EZCH +16%) blasted off in the final 30 minutes of trading on strong volume.
    • No news has hit the wires to explain the move. EZchip has occasionally been a party to M&A speculation in the past; shares rallied in December after the Avago/LSI deal fueled hopes of further consolidation among networking chipmakers.
    • Short-covering could be a factor: 13% of the float was shorted as of Jan. 31.
    | Comment!
  • Dec. 17, 2013, 2:57 PM
    • Avago (AVGO +7.6%) is now up 18% (good for a $2.1B increase in market cap) since announcing a $6.6B deal to acquire LSI yesterday morning. Many of its chip industry peers have also rallied; the Philadelphia Semiconductor Index (SOXX +1.2%) is up 2.5% over the last two days.
    • The sharply contrasting nature of Avago and LSI's product lines - Avago depends heavily on RF and optical component sales, while LSI depends on storage controllers/adapters and network processors - could be fueling hopes other chipmakers will use M&A to expand their product lines and achieve greater scale.
    • Today's notable gainers include EZchip (EZCH +6.7%), OmniVision (OVTI +3.6%), Skyworks (SWKS +3%), Cavium (CAVM +3%), Audience (ADNC +5.8%), Cirrus Logic (CRUS +3.4%), and Semtech (SMTC +3%). Cirrus and OmniVision, which both depend heavily on Apple orders, might also be getting a boost from a positive Q4 pre-announcement from Germany's Dialog Semi (gets ~70% of its sales from Apple).
    • Several firms have hiked their Avago PTs in response to the LSI deal, which is set to be financed with $4.6B in debt and a $1B convertible note investment from Silver Lake (conversion price of just $48.04). Nomura expects the deal to lift Avago's 2015 EPS by $1.00-$1.50; Avago is promising $200M/year in synergies by the end of FY15 (ends Nov. '15). RBC thinks FY15 EPS of ~$5 is possible; the consensus is at $3.89.
    • Chip ETFs: SMH, XSD, PSI, SOXL, USD, SOXS, SSG
    | Comment!
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Company Description
EZChip Semiconductor Ltd is engaged in the development & marketing of Internet application solutions to improve the connectivity & performance of corporate LAN & WAN.