Apr. 9, 2014, 4:52 PM
- IDC estimates global PC shipments fell 4.4% Y/Y (less than a 5.3% forecast) in Q1 to 73.4M, after having declined 5.6% in Q4 and 7.6% in Q3. Gartner thinks shipments only fell 1.7%, and totaled 76.6M.
- IDC chalks up the narrower decline to healthy commercial demand, as buyers purchased Windows 7 systems ahead of Microsoft's (MSFT) termination of Windows XP support. The firm also thinks slowing tablet growth helped out.
- IDC thinks Japanese shipments rose 7%, and U.S. shipments only fell 0.6% thanks to 3.5% desktop growth. Emerging Asia-Pac and Latin American markets, where tablet cannibalization is at an earlier stage, remained weak..
- A mix shift towards developed markets benefits both Microsoft (higher ASPs, less piracy) and Intel (INTC - higher ASPs).
- IDC estimates market leader Lenovo (LNVGY) had a 17.7% share, +220 bps Y/Y. #2 H-P's (HPQ) share rose 150 bps to 17.1%, and #3 Dell's 170 bps to 13.4%. #4 Acer's (ASIYF) share fell 130 bps to 6.8%, and #5 Asus' 20 bps to 5.9%.
- The Q1 numbers suggest IDC's prior full-year forecast for a 6% shipment drop might prove too pessimistic.
- Other companies with strong PC exposure: AMD, NVDA, MU, STX, WDC, HTCH
Apr. 1, 2014, 9:40 AM
- Nvidia (NVDA +3.4%) has been upgraded to Outperform by JMP. The company made a flurry of product announcements last week.
- InvenSense (INVN -2.2%) has been cut to Market Perform by Oppenheimer. A Galaxy S5 teardown recently turned up a 6-axis InvenSense motion sensor.
- Rubicon (RBCN +10%) has been upgraded to Overweight by JPMorgan.
- JA Solar (JASO +5.2%) has been started at Outperform by Northland.
- Tablueau (DATA +1.4%) has been upgraded to Outperform by Baird.
- Informatica (INFA +4.2%) has been upgraded to Overweight by Barclays.
- MagnaChip (MX -2.5%) has been cut to Neutral by Chardan Capital following Friday's restatement/CFO news. UBS downgraded shares to Sell yesterday.
- Extreme Networks (EXTR +6%) has been started at Buy by Wunderlich. The company recently launched several new software products, as well as 100-gig Ethernet blade for its switches.
- Coupons.com (COUP -2.2%) has received a bullish rating from BofA/Merrill, and neutral ones from Goldman and RBC, on underwriter coverage day.
Mar. 25, 2014, 2:39 PM
- Nvidia's (NVDA +0.3%) promises its Pascal GPU architecture, the successor to its recently-launched Maxwell, will deliver a 5x-12x improvement in GPU-to-CPU and GPU-to-GPU transfer speeds by leveraging the chipmaker's NVLink interconnect. Pascal, due in 2016, will also support 3D memory chips, something it expects will improve densities by 2.5x and memory energy efficiency by 4x.
- Pascal will underpin mobile processors and HPC GPUs in addition to PC GPUs. CEO Jen-Hsun Huang goes as far as to say it will enable new machine learning/A.I. apps.
- Nvidia, which is hosting both its investor day (webcast) and its annual GPU conference (live blog) today, has also: unveiled Titan Z, a flagship dual-GPU graphics card solution (relies on Nvidia's Kepler architecture) that will retail for a whopping $3K. Nvidia's current flagship (the GTX Titan Black) only goes for $999, and AMD's top-of-the-line R9 290X (previous) has a $549 MSRP.
- Nvidia has been growing GPU sales in spite of a weak PC market with the help of strong HPC and PC gaming market demand. Likely helping: The company has been ramping R&D spend (+13% Y/Y in the Jan. quarter) at a time when AMD has been cutting costs and directing more resources towards embedded/console opportunities.
Mar. 19, 2014, 1:07 PM
- Stifel's Kevin Cassidy has hiked his Nvidia (NVDA +2.4%) PT to $21 from $19. He sees the chipmaker using its March 25 analyst day to discuss "many new product initiatives" that can deliver upside to estimates.
- Citing the potential for margin expansion and upside to professional GPU and automotive performance, Cassidy is raising his FY16 (ends Jan. '16) EPS forecast to $1.30. That's well above a $0.93 consensus.
- Strong demand for professional parts (i.e.Quadro workstation GPUs and Tesla HPC GPUs) helped Nvidia's GPU sales rise 14% Y/Y in the January quarter.
Mar. 12, 2014, 7:30 PM
- Nvidia's (NVDA) new 800M notebook GPU line mostly leverages the company's new Maxwell architecture on the low-end, and its older Kepler architecture on the high-end. The top-of-the-line GTX 880M (competes against AMD's R9 M290X) features 1536 cores, a 954MHz. GPU clock, and a 256-bit GDDR5 graphics RAM interface.
- Drawing the most attention: Nvidia's Battery Boost tech (found in high-end and mid-range 800M parts), which the chipmaker claims can lead to 50%+ increases in notebook battery life during gaming sessions. Nvidia achieves this in part by keeping frame rates at a target level, and monitoring non-GPU system elements.
- AnandTech: "I suspect many of us simply don’t bother trying to game while unplugged because it drains the battery so quickly, and potentially doubling your mobile gaming time will certainly help in that respect." Nvidia argues Maxwell parts with Battery Boost can also enable thinner/lighter notebooks with strong gaming credentials.
- Jon Peddie Research estimates Nvidia's discrete notebook GPU shipments rose 3.2% Q/Q in Q4, while AMD's fell 6.7%. The company is estimated to have a total PC GPU share of 16.6% (-20 bps) vs. 18.3% for AMD and (-140 bps) and 65.1% for Intel (+210 bps). AMD and Intel's figures take integrated CPUs/GPUs into account.
Feb. 24, 2014, 4:14 AM
- Chip makers such as Intel (INTC) and Broadcom (BRCM) are using the Mobile World Congress to demonstrate technology that will increase network speeds.
- One new service is expected to provide download rates of up to 300 megabits a second, four to six times the top speeds of existing LTE networks.
- The companies are out to chip away at the dominance of Qualcomm (QCOM), which holds 9% of the LTE market.
- Other companies that are putting out decent LTE chips include Nvidia (NVDA), MediaTek, Marvell Technology (MRVL), and Spreadtrum Communications (SPRD).
- More on the Mobile World Congress.
Feb. 12, 2014, 5:12 PM
- Nvidia (NVDA) expects FQ1 revenue of $1.05B (+/- 2%), above a $1B consensus.
- The chipmaker soundly beat FQ4 estimates thanks to a 14% Y/Y increase in GPU sales to $947M. That growth rate represents a reversal from FQ3's 2% drop. Nvidia cites strong sales of its high-end GeForce GTX desktop GPUs, Quadro workstation GPUs, and Tesla HPC GPUs. Notebook GPU sales fell slightly due to PC weakness.
- Tegra sales remained under pressure, plunging 37% to $131M. Nvidia is counting on the Tegra 4i (integrated baseband/app processor) and K1 (high-end app processor) to spark a turnaround.
- Gross margin was 54.1%, -130 bps Q/Q but +120 bps Y/Y. Nvidia expects a GM of 52.5% in seasonally weak FQ1. Opex rose 13% Y/Y, easily eclipsing revenue grow of 3%.
- Only $37M was spent on buybacks. Nvidia added $1B to its buyback authorization back in November.
- FQ4 results, PR, CFO commentary
Feb. 12, 2014, 4:26 PM
Feb. 12, 2014, 12:10 AM
Feb. 11, 2014, 5:35 PM
Jan. 16, 2014, 6:25 PM
- Intel (INTC) CFO Stacy Smith on the Q4 CC, discussing enterprise/government demand: "We saw a tapering off in order patterns at certain customers across certain segments. We think that was driven by the government shutdown and uncertainty." Smith also stated a 2H pickup in enterprise IT spend was a little slower than expected.
- Bernstein's Stacy Rasgon, a long-time bear, expressed disappointment over the slowing server CPU division growth Intel reported in Q4 (+8% Y/Y vs. +12% in Q3), and questioned the division's ability to hit an Intel target for low-double digit 2014 growth, especially after sales only rose 3% in 2013.
- CEO Brian Krzanich suggests sales of Intel's Bay Trail Atom CPUs for Android tablet designs won't be significant until Q2. Bay Trail carries much lower ASPs than Intel's Core PC CPUs.
- Intel has fully given back its early 2014 gains. AMD -1.1% AH. NVDA -1.1%.
- More on Intel's earnings
Jan. 14, 2014, 5:42 PM
- PC industry names outperformed amid a broader tech rally, aided by a JPMorgan Intel (INTC +4%) note that argued PC demand is stabilizing, and tablet cannibalization diminishing. A number of chip stocks also rallied strongly (SOXX +2.1%).
- Also: Major hard drive suspension assembly maker Hutchinson has reported above-consensus Dec. quarter sales, while citing strong demand for 2.5" notebook drive assemblies. Seagate and Western Digital both rallied.
- JPMorgan's Christopher Danely, who upgraded Intel to Overweight, has raised his 2014 estimates soundly above consensus ahead of the chip giant's Thursday Q4 report. Danely notes Intel, Microsoft, H-P, and others have said PC demand is improving, and that Taiwan's big-4 notebook contract manufacturers collectively grew their shipments 7% Q/Q in Q4. Q1 shipments are expected to drop in-line with seasonality.
- He also points out tablet shipment growth is decelerating, and forecasts shipments will only rise 25% in 2014 (down from 53% in 2013).
- Danely's optimism contrasts with another bearish Intel note from Bernstein's Stacy Rasgon, who estimates five mobile CPU sales are needed to make up for one PC CPU sale, and doubts Intel's foundry business will move the needle.
- PC industry gainers: MSFT +2.3%. HPQ +2.6%. AMD +4.1%. NVDA +3.1%.
- Chip ETFs: SMH, XSD, PSI, SOXL, USD, SOXS, SSG
- Previous: Goldman on Intel's Q4, Gartner/IDC's Q4 PC estimates, Intel's light 2014 guidance
Jan. 9, 2014, 5:58 PM
- IDC and Gartner respectively estimate PC shipments fell 5.6% and 6.9% Y/Y in Q4. Those numbers represent improvements from estimated Q3 declines of 7.6% and 8.6%. For the full year, both firms think shipments dropped 10% (to 315M and 316M, respectively).
- Gartner thinks U.S. PC sales (outperformed in Q3) have bottomed, but nonetheless estimates they fell 7.5%, and states "consumer spending during the holidays did not come back to PCs as tablets were one of the hottest holiday items."
- IDC thinks U.S. shipments only fell 1.6%, thanks to healthy enterprise demand. EMEA and much of Asia-Pac remained weak, but Japan delivered positive growth. The U.S. and Japan have higher ASPs and lower piracy rates than many emerging markets.
- Lenovo (LNVGY) added to its market lead in Q4: IDC assigns the company an 18.6% share (+250 bps Y/Y). #2 H-P, which performed well in its October quarter, is given a 16.8% share (-50 bps); both IDC and Gartner think H-P's U.S. sales were weak. #3 Dell, which has been cutting prices to gain share, is given a 12.2% share (+130 bps).
- H-P and Lenovo have each rolled out a slew of new Windows and Android notebooks, tablets, and convertibles at CES. Lenovo's pricing has arguably been more aggressive than H-P's.
- Other PC industry names: MSFT, INTC, AMD, NVDA, MU, STX, WDC.
Jan. 9, 2014, 9:41 AM
- Alcatel-Lucent (ALU -4.6%) has been cut to Hold by Deutsche, while rival Ericsson (ERIC -0.2%) has been upgraded to Buy. However, Morgan Stanley has started Alcatel at Overweight.
- Nvidia (NVDA -2.1%) has been cut to Hold by Canaccord a few days after unveiling its Tegra K1 app processors.
- Angie's List (ANGI +9.1%) has been upgraded to Strong Buy by Raymond James.
- Autodesk (ADSK +2.1%) has been upgraded to Overweight by Evercore.
- Chipmaker STMicroelectronics (STM -1.2%) has been cut to Sell by Deutsche, and CPU core licensing giant ARM (ARMH -5.5%) has been cut to Hold.
- EXFO (EXFO -8.3%) has been cut to Hold by TD Securities, and to Underperform by CIBC, after missing FQ1 estimates and providing soft FQ2 guidance.
- ASML (ASML +0.9%) has been started at Buy by ING.
Jan. 6, 2014, 2:49 PM
- Nvidia (NVDA +1.6%) has unveiled its Tegra K1 mobile app processors. The K1 chips, formerly codenamed Logan and Parker, are the first Tegra offerings to feature a GPU based on Nvidia's Kepler PC GPU architecture, and manage to pack 192 GPU cores (the prior-gen Tegra 4 has 72). (PR)
- The K1, believed to leverage TSMC's cutting-edge 20nm manufacturing process, is also the first Tegra solution to support Nvidia's CUDA developer platform (optimizes apps for Nvidia GPUs). CES attendees have been impressed by demos showing K1-powered tablets delivering desktop-caliber graphics.
- Two versions are offered: a quad-core chip featuring off-the-shelf ARM (ARMH -0.1%) CPU cores, and (more interestingly) a solution featuring two powerful custom 64-bit ARM cores (codenamed Denver). Apple and Qualcomm have already unveiled 64-bit ARM processors, which carry higher royalty rates than 32-bit chips.
- Devices featuring the 32-bit and 64-bit chips are respectively set to arrive in 1H14 and 2H14. Nvidia is counting on the K1 to help Tegra sales (-54% Y/Y in FQ3) to rebound following a rough 2013. They'll face tough competition from Qualcomm (QCOM +0.3%) - its baseband/app processor integration remains a big selling point for many OEMs - and from a newly mobile-focused Intel (INTC). In addition, indirect competition is provided by Apple and Samsung's in-house processors.
- Nvidia's mobile struggles have led the company to begin offering to license Kepler and other IP to third-party chipmakers.
- Previous: Nvidia backs Android auto initiative
Jan. 6, 2014, 11:57 AM
- Bernstein has hiked its Google (GOOG +0.3%) PT to $1,350 (a new Street high) from $1,200. UBS is only a little less optimistic, raising its PT to $1,300.
- Google announces at CES it's partnering with GM, Honda, Audi (previous), Hyundai, and Nvidia (NVDA +1.3%) to create the Open Automotive Alliance, a consortium looking to bring Android-powered in-car navigation/infotainment systems to market. The first cars supporting the platform are expected by year's end.
- There's no shortage of competition in the automotive computing space. Ford/Microsoft's MyFord Touch platform and Apple's Siri Eyes Free (supported by several automakers) are two prominent examples. But the OAA's strong industry backing, together with Android's developer support and Google's powerful apps/services ecosystem - Google Maps and Now should be particularly useful for in-car solutions - should make it a tough competitor.
- Google's effort could be a negative for Nuance (NUAN -1.5%), which offers its Dragon Drive voice recognition platform for the automotive market, and PND vendor Garmin (GRMN -0.1%), which has been trying to sell advanced infotainment systems to automakers.
- Google has acquired Bitspin, developer of popular alarm clock app Timely. Look for some of Timely's features and UI elements to appear in future Android releases.
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