Thu, Apr. 2, 4:49 PM
- Brean's Mike Burton: "Following numerous checks into the mobile supply chain and getting a chance to catch up with the Company, we are adjusting down our estimates for HIMX to reflect their previous quarter and outlook."
- Burton, who maintains a Hold rating, expects Q1 results to come in at the low end of guidance, and sees the weakness continuing in Q2. One silver lining: Gross margin is expected to benefit from lower Chinese sales.
- The note comes two weeks after BofA/Merrill issued a 2-notch downgrade to Underperform - Chinese share loss, Samsung LCD phone sales, and limited LCoS newsflow were cited - and Northland Securities (Outperform) aired concerns about weak Chinese smartphone sales and Samsung's growing use of OLEDs relative to LCDs.
- Shares fell to $6.14 today; the 52-week low is $5.70. Himax now trades for 14x 2014E EPS and less than 1x 2015E sales after factoring net cash.
Tue, Mar. 17, 9:50 AM
- Citing concerns about Chinese share, Samsung's low-end LCD phone sales, and limited LCoS microdisplay-related newsflow from Google and Microsoft, BofA/Merrill has downgraded Himax (NASDAQ:HIMX) to Underperform from Buy, and cut its target to $7.
- The downgrade comes a day after Northland Securities (Outperform) cautioned Q1 results could come in at the low end of guidance, while citing concerns about Chinese smartphone driver IC sales and a mix shift at Samsung towards OLED phone displays relative to LCDs.
- Shares are now down 13% over the last two days. Back in January, BofA called Himax its top 2015 pick among display IC vendors. After backing out $187.8M in cash, Himax now only goes for 1.1x 2015E sales.
Mon, Mar. 16, 12:26 PM
- Northland Securities reports Himax's (NASDAQ:HIMX) Chinese sales have weakened. Shares are off sharply on volume of 4.9M shares (above a 3-month daily average of 3.1M).
- Northland is just two months removed from upping its Himax estimates (while reiterating an Outperform rating) on account of growing LCoS microdisplay design activity.
- Himax cautioned last month its Q1 Chinese smartphone/tablet driver IC sales will be soft. The company is counting on rising sales of 1080p, 2K, and OLED driver ICs, along with large-panel driver growth (driven by 4K TV demand), to help offset.
- Update: More details here. Analyst Tom Sepenzis notes Himax customers Samsung, Lenovo, and ZTE have seen weak Chinese smartphone sales. He's also concerned about soft January/February sales data from Taiwanese firms and Samsung's growing use of OLED displays (rather than LCDs). Sepenzis thinks Q1 sales could be at the low end of guidance.
Thu, Feb. 12, 10:27 AM
- Himax (NASDAQ:HIMX) expects revenue in seasonally weak Q1 to be down 15%-22% Q/Q (implies a range of $177.2M-$193.1M) and EPS to be in a range $0.073-$0.088, below a consensus of $216.7M and $0.09. However, gross margin is expected to rise 100-150 bps Q/Q from a Q4 level of 24.7%, which itself beat November guidance of ~23.5% and was up 20 bps Q/Q.
- Though officially beating consensus, Q4 revenue was in-line with the guidance provided in Himax's Jan. 14 update. Large-panel driver IC sales (28.8% of revenue) rose 39.9% Y/Y, thanks in part to strong demand for 4K TVs (require more powerful drivers).
- Small/medium-panel driver sales (50.5% of revenue) rose 1.7%, with Korean and Chinese smartphones acting as strong points and branded tablet orders (though down) better than expected. Non-driver products (20.7% of revenue) rose 32.1%, with touch controller and image sensor sales respectively nearly tripling and doubling Y/Y. Timing controller and LCoS microdisplay sales also grew.
- Q1 sales will be pressured by soft Chinese smartphone/tablet driver orders. Himax is counting on sales of more costly 1080p and 2K display drivers, as well as OLED driver ICs, to "mitigate margin pressure in the competitive smartphone market" in 2015. Large-panel driver sales are expected to be up 25% Y/Y in Q1, and sales volume for 4K sets to more than double in 2015.
- Non-driver product sales are expected to fall by double digits Q/Q in Q1. But Himax still expects the business to "grow significantly in 2015," aided by the launch of integrated driver/touch controller (TDDI) ICs and growing sales of 8MP image sensors.
- "More and more customers" are said to be adopting Himax's LCoS microdisplays, and the company insists (in the wake of Kopin's announcement) "there is essentially no competition to this product." LCoS sales and wafer-level optics NRE incomes are expected to collectively more than double Y/Y in Q1.
- Q4 results, PR
Mon, Feb. 9, 9:23 AM
- Credit Suisse has downgraded Himax (NASDAQ:HIMX) Neutral ahead of Thursday's Q4 report.
- CS launched coverage on Himax at Outperform 11 months ago, when shares were at $14.49. BofA/Merrill declared the company its top display IC pick two weeks ago.
- Last Friday: Apple reportedly looking to cut Synaptics dependence, Himax hopes to benefit
Fri, Feb. 6, 2:49 PM
- Digitimes reports (citing LCD driver industry sources) Apple is "looking to diversify its LCD driver IC suppliers and move away from its dependence" on Synaptics' (SYNA -1.6%) recently-acquired Renesas SP Drivers unit. Himax (HIMX -4%) and fellow Taiwanese driver suppliers Novatek and Parade Technologies are said to be "vying for orders."
- The site adds rumors previously emerged Apple has "approached other driver IC suppliers after RSA was acquired by Synaptics." Synaptics has reportedly "stepped up efforts to transition to 55nm process technology from 80nm" in order to hold onto Apple's business.
- In spite of the report, Himax is adding to the Thursday losses it saw after microdisplay rival Kopin unveiled a new liquid crystal cell assembly process, and stated it expects an unnamed tier-1 customer to use it in an upcoming wearable product.
Thu, Feb. 5, 3:57 PM
- Kopin (KOPN +3.2%) has unveiled NanoJet, a liquid crystal cell assembly process (optimized for microdisplays) declared to offer superior image quality and brightness, as well as to lower display costs by improving yields and reducing materials usage.
- Kopin: "The NanoJet process releases tiny drops of liquid crystal material with greater precision (variation within a few nano grams) and provides for a purer, better controlled and very uniform layering of the liquid crystal material in the fabrication of displays ... We are qualifying the NanoJet process and expect a tier-one customer to introduce in coming months a wearable product which includes a display manufactured using the Nanojet process."
- Microdisplay rival Himax (HIMX -3.6%) has sold off following the announcement. Shares soared two weeks ago after Microsoft revealed HoloLens, a holographic/augmented reality headset for which little has been disclosed regarding its display technology. Himax stated in November it has "some exciting new tier-1 customers" for its LCoS microdisplay; its Q4 results are due in seven days.
Wed, Jan. 28, 1:03 PM
- Himax (HIMX +6.7%), QuickLogic (QUIK +7.4%), and Pixelworks (PXLW +5.4%) are posting big gains on a day that has seen many mobile chipmakers rally in the wake of Apple's strong FQ1 iPhone sales print.
- Himax's LCD driver ICs and QuickLogic's sensor hubs go into Android devices rather than Apple's mobile hardware. Pixelworks counts Apple as a client, but details about the business relationship are limited. Many think an SoC being developed by Pixelworks for large-screen applications (through a "co-development partnership") is meant for Apple.
- Possibly helping Pixelworks' cause: Tim Cook stated on Apple's (NASDAQ:AAPL) CC (transcript) 25M Apple TV units have now been cumulatively shipped, up from 20M last April, and that the product is one which Apple "[continues] to look at and work on and find a way that we can make even greater contribution than what we’re doing."
- QuickLogic reports on Feb. 4, Pixelworks on Feb. 5, and Himax on Feb. 12.
Mon, Jan. 26, 2:36 PM
- BofA/Merrill's Daniel Heyler has named Himax (NASDAQ:HIMX) his top 2015 pick among display IC vendors, and upped his target to $12.50. He cites growing demand for 4K TV sets (they require more powerful LCD driver ICs), spurred by falling panel prices.
- The call comes ahead of Himax's Feb. 12 Q4 report. Shares +24% since Microsoft showed off HoloLens last Wendesday.
Wed, Jan. 21, 2:35 PM
- Microsoft (MSFT -1.6%) has followed up on its Windows 10 reveal by unveiling new hardware. Getting the most attention is HoloLens, a headset declared to be "the most advanced holographic computer the world has ever seen."
- The device contains a see-through display that allows users to see holograms in their real-world environments, and doesn't require a connection to a PC or phone. Microsoft has christened the augmented reality platform underpinning it Windows Holographic.
- HoloLens is expected to launch around the same time as Windows 10. LCoS microdisplay vendor Himax (HIMX +5.4%), previously rumored to be working with Microsoft, has spiked higher.
- Also unveiled: Surface Hub, an 84" 4K touch display sporting dual cameras and sensors, running Windows 10, and providing quick access to Skype video calls and a digital whiteboard. The product, which presumably won't be cheap, appears to be aimed at conference rooms.
- As rumored, Microsoft's Spartan browser sports a streamlined UI, Cortana integration, a note-taking/annotating stylus mode, and a new rendering engine that delivers improved performance. It also has a Reading Mode that formats Web pages to resemble e-books.
- A slew of new universal apps (they feature similar PC and phone/tablet UIs) have been shown off. OneDrive, a photos app, and a People app are among the covered products. New Office apps for phones and small tablets have been previewed, and so has the ability to run universal Windows apps on the Xbox One.
- Earlier: Microsoft details Windows 10, promises free upgrades
Wed, Jan. 14, 9:17 AM
Wed, Jan. 7, 5:30 PM
- Citing growing LCoS microdisplay activity among partners and rising virtual reality/augmented reality device sales, Northland Securities has hiked its Himax (NASDAQ:HIMX) estimates, while reiterating a Buy and $10 target.
- Shares rallied towards $8 today after taking part in a chip stock selloff yesterday. Plenty of VR and smart glass products have been shown off at CES this week (I, II, III).
Dec. 5, 2014, 2:53 PM| 16 Comments
Dec. 3, 2014, 3:03 PM
- Himax (NASDAQ:HIMX) is adding to yesterday's healthy gains as chip stocks rally in the wake of upbeat comments from Microchip (often viewed as an industry bellwether).
- Also possibly helping: Intel has announced a partnership with eyewear giant Luxottica to "fuse premium, luxury and sports eyewear with smart technology." Luxottica already has a Glass partnership with Google, and Intel was recently reported to be the processor supplier for the next version of Glass.
Dec. 2, 2014, 1:46 PM
- In the latest sign that Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) remains committed to Glass in spite of recent pessimism about its future, the Web giant has been awarded a patent for a more streamlined Glass design featuring a much smaller casing.
- The patent grant comes in the wake of a Sunday evening WSJ report stating a new version of Glass (the delayed commercial launch model?) sporting an Intel CPU will arrive next year, and that (Segway comparisons aside) Google still primarily views the display glasses "as a consumer device."
- Himax (NASDAQ:HIMX), which has asserted its LCoS microdisplay unit maintains a strong relationship with Google, is rallying on a day the Nasdaq is up 0.5%. Shares fell moderately yesterday amid a tech selloff.
Nov. 18, 2014, 9:09 AM
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