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Freescale Semiconductor Inc. (FSL)

- NYSE
  • Dec. 5, 2014, 2:45 PM
    • Expecting strong automotive and general-purpose microntroller sales over the next two years, Evercore ISI has upgraded Freescale (NYSE:FSL) to Buy, and hiked its target by $10 to $30.
    • Freescale was already having a strong week. Shares aren't too far from a 52-week high of $26.00.
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  • Dec. 3, 2014, 12:07 PM
    • Freescale (NYSE:FSL) has jumped to levels last seen in mid-September. 2.1M shares have already changed hands; the 3-month daily average is 2.7M.
    • The gains come a day after Freescale announced the acquisition of video-processing SoC vendor Zenverge. Freescale touts the ability to Zenverge's data-compression IP to lower the bandwidth needed to stream Ultra HD/4K (HEVC) video by up to 50%. Its products are used in home gateways, DVRs, and media servers; Broadcom is a rival.
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  • 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
  • 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
    | 17 Comments
  • Oct. 24, 2014, 2:31 PM
    • Down AH yesterday due to the light Q4 guidance offered with a Q3 EPS beat, Freescale (NYSE:FSL) has reversed course. Some bullish sell-side notes are helping.
    • Credit Suisse's Jonathan Pitzer likes the face Freescale's gross margin rose 110 bps Q/Q in Q3 (better than guidance for a 50 bps drop), and that op. margin reached a record high of 18.7% thanks to a 3.5% Q/Q opex drop. " This should alleviate investor concerns relative to margin drivers that often seemed ambiguous."
    • Deutsche's Ross Seymore: "Despite near term revenue headwind, we continue to view FSL as a company that is righting the ship on revenue, focusing on gross margin progression and opex discipline, which should result in better free cash flow to further de-lever the balance sheet and unlock earnings power."
    • Oppenheimer's Rick Schafer is more cautious, calling Chinese 4G infrastructure demand "the lone bright spot" for the chipmaker's sales as it deals with auto/industrial softness.
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  • Oct. 23, 2014, 6:25 PM
    • Though it posted in-line Q3 revenue and beat EPS estimates, Freescale (NYSE:FSL) is guiding for Q4 revenue of $1.075B-$1.125B, below a $1.18B consensus. In addition, gross margin is expected to drop 75-100 bps from a Q3 level of 46.3%.
    • Freescale was among the names clocked earlier this month by fellow microcontroller vendor Microchip's warning.
    • Q3 results, PR
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  • Oct. 23, 2014, 4:20 PM
    • Freescale Semiconductor (NYSE:FSL): Q3 EPS of $0.49 beats by $0.06.
    • Revenue of $1.21B (+12.0% Y/Y) in-line.
    • Press Release
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  • Oct. 22, 2014, 5:35 PM
  • Oct. 13, 2014, 9:58 AM
    • Pac Crest has downgraded analog/mixed-signal IC vendors Freescale (FSL -2.9%), ON Semi (ONNN -5.5%), and Silicon Labs (SLAB -3.4%) following Microchip's calendar Q3 warning. In-line with Microchip's cautious remarks, the firm cites evidence of a distributor inventory correction and weak Chinese demand.
    • All three names sold off on Friday on account of Microchip, with Freescale and ON registering double-digit declines.
    • Meanwhile, JPMorgan has downgraded European chipmakers STMicroelectronics (STM -3.4%) and Infineon (OTCPK:IFNNF) to Neutral. The firm is worried about the impact of German and Chinese macro trends.
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  • Oct. 10, 2014, 9:59 AM
    • Microchip's (MCHP -12.5%) calendar Q3 warning, which was accompanied by a declaration that it believes "another industry correction has begun and that this correction will be seen more broadly across the industry in the near future," is taking a heavy toll on chip stocks (SOXX -5.5%).
    • Intel (INTC -4.2%) and many other chipmakers have joined the several firms that sold off AH yesterday in going in the same direction as Microchip: MU -5.8%. FSL -8.5%. BRCM -3.6%. SWKS -7.5%. RFMD -6.2%. XLNX -4.9%. MXIM -5%. AMBA -5.5%. IDTI -6.7%. CAVM -7.4%. AVGO -10.2%. SMTC -4.3%. SYNA -4.1%. POWI -6.9%.
    • Chip equipment makers are also getting hit: AMAT -3.5%. KLAC -3.3%. LRCX -2.3%. UTEK -2.5%. KLIC -2%.
    • As Microchip noted in yesterday's warning, the company's very diversified customer base, together with its recognition of distributor revenue on a customer sell-through basis rather than a distributor sell-in basis, often allow it to see industry changes before peers.
    • The microcontroller vendor added its warning was driven by a September decline in sales to Chinese clients, and observed it has typically "returned to sequential revenue growth after two quarters" during past downturns.
    • Chip stocks have had a good run over the last 12 months, aided by healthy mobile demand and the industry's consolidation wave.
    | 39 Comments
  • Aug. 19, 2014, 7:37 AM
    • Collaborating with Raytheon (NYSE:RTN) and chip maker Freescale Semiconductor (NYSE:FSL), startup Seek Thermal is planning to sell a thermal imaging add-on camera for smartphones for about ~$250 this fall.
    • The new add-on camera is bringing down the price for the cameras, which may ultimately become a built-in feature on many consumer products.
    • This past July, Flir Systems (NASDAQ:FLIR) introduced a $349 iPhone accessory that allows a smartphone's display to show glowing heat signatures of people, animals, lights and other objects.
    • Such technology is already used for many commercial purposes, such as detecting leaking hot-water pipes and overheating electrical devices, and the further advances in the field may lead cheaper thermal cameras to hit the mass market.
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  • Jul. 25, 2014, 6:19 PM
    • Freescale (FSL -9.6%) beat Q2 estimates and issued decent Q3 guidance: Revenue of $1.19B-$1.23B vs. a $1.2B consensus. But the company also disclosed its high-margin IP licensing business saw a major Q/Q revenue drop, and stated on its CC (transcript) it expects IP revenue to "remain at the low levels we saw this quarter over the next several quarters."
    • Freescale's Other revenue, which consists of IP licensing and some mobile chips, fell 48% Q/Q and 69% Y/Y to $21M. That led the company's gross margin to come in at 45.2%, +40 bps Q/Q and +270 bps Y/Y, but below guidance for 50-75 bps growth. GM is expected to rise 50 bps Q/Q in Q3.
    • Freescale estimates the Q/Q IP decline had a 140 bps impact on GM. It attributes the weakness to "challenges inherent in completing [licensing] deals in the current environment."
    • Other parts of Freescale's business are faring much better: Core microcontroller sales +24% Y/Y to $246M; automotive microcontrollers +13% to $308M; digital networking (network processors) +27% to $291M with the help of 4G base station growth; analog/sensors +9% to $205M.
    • Q2 results, PR
    | 1 Comment
  • Jul. 24, 2014, 4:25 PM
    • Freescale Semiconductor (NYSE:FSL): Q2 EPS of $0.38 beats by $0.03.
    • Revenue of $1.19B (+14.4% Y/Y) beats by $20M.
    • Shares -2.7%.
    • Press Release
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  • Jul. 23, 2014, 5:35 PM
  • 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
  • Apr. 24, 2014, 7:04 PM
    • Freescale (FSL) has hired Dan Durn, formerly the CFO of #2 chip foundry Globalfoundries, to be its new CFO, starting in June. Durn will replace Alan Campbell, who announced plans to retire in January.
    • The chipmaker has guided in its Q1 report for Q2 revenue of $1.14B-$1.2B, above a $1.13B consensus. Gross margin is expected to rise 50-75 bps from a Q1 level of 44.8%.
    • FSL -1.7% AH in spite of the guidance and a Q1 beat. Shares went into earnings trading within a hair's breadth of their 52-week high of $26.
    • Q1 results, PR
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Company Description
Freescale Semiconductor Ltd offers embedded processors such as microcontrollers and digital networking processors.