May 29, 2014, 4:19 PM| 2 Comments
May 28, 2014, 5:35 PM
May 23, 2014, 10:09 AM
- TechCrunch reports Google (GOOG - unchanged) is close to buying satellite imagery startup Skybox Imaging; a source estimates the price is around $1B.
- The Information reported of Google's interest in Skybox in April. Aside from providing high-res imagery that could bolster Google Maps/Earth, Skybox provides related analytics services aimed at enterprises/institutions.
- TechCrunch observes Skybox currently relies on just one satellite, and needs more funding as it gets set to launch a second one in June. The company recently placed an order for 13 small satellites.
- DigitalGlobe (DGI +0.3%), which sold off when The Information's report came out, is taking the TechCrunch report in stride. The company is a major imagery supplier for Maps/Earth.
- Separately, the WSJ reports Google's Project Tango, launched as an effort to create Android phones able to track motion and provide 3D visual maps of one's surroundings, now extends to tablets.
- A 7" prototype tablet sporting "two back cameras, infrared depth sensors and advanced software that can capture precise [3D] images of objects" is said to be on tap. There's a good chance OmniVision (OVTI +1.1%), already a Tango partner, is the image sensor supplier.
Feb. 28, 2014, 9:14 AM
Feb. 27, 2014, 5:38 PM
Feb. 27, 2014, 5:06 PM
- OmniVision (OVTI) expects FQ4 revenue of $275M-$305M and EPS of $0.19-$0.35, in-line with a consensus of $284.3M and $0.22. With a long line of mobile chipmakers having guided light (those with strong Apple exposure have been especially hard-hit), the forecast is going over well.
- In spite of a 17% Y/Y rev. drop, gross margin rose 270 bps Y/Y in FQ3 to 19.6%; that contributed to OmniVision's huge EPS beat. FQ4 EPS guidance points to continued margin strength.
- Opex rose 7% Y/Y to $51.3M, thanks to a 13% increase in R&D spend to $30.9M. OmniVision says its new PureCel image sensors (meant for high-end smartphones/tablets) are "gaining traction."
- FQ3 results, PR
Feb. 27, 2014, 4:28 PM| Comment!
Feb. 27, 2014, 12:10 AM
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Feb. 26, 2014, 5:35 PM
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Feb. 25, 2014, 7:06 PM
- Ahead of its Thursday FQ3 report, OmniVision (OVTI) states it's working with Google to develop the recently-announced Project Tango's 3D vision capabilities.
- Tango aims to enable Android phones that can track motion and create 3D maps of their surroundings. Potential applications including immersive gaming, indoor navigation, and 3D scanning.
- Two new OmniVision image sensors, the OV4682 and the OV7251, are part of Google's Tango development kit. The 4682 has a 4MP resolution, supports 90fps video capture, and can capture IR information (enables depth analysis), and the 7251 can capture VGA-resolution video at 100fps, while enabling low-light imaging and providing motion-tracking data.
Feb. 11, 2014, 2:23 PM
- The Nikkei reports Sony (SNE +2.4%) is talking with Apple about doubling its supply of image sensors to the tech giant, in support of a future iPhone. The paper adds Sony has laid the groundwork to handle the extra demand, and that its acquisition of a Renesas image sensor fab was done with Apple in mind.
- While Sony is rallying, OmniVision (OVTI -5.6%) shares aren't responding well to the report. Apple has relied on both Sony and OmniVision for iPhone image sensors in recent years.
- Techno Systems Research estimates Sony had a 32.1% share of the CMOS image sensor market in 2012. In addition to Apple, Sony supplies Samsung and Huawei.
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
Dec. 4, 2013, 9:10 AM
Dec. 3, 2013, 6:50 PM
- The Nikkei reports Sony (SNE) is looking to acquire a chip fab from struggling Renesas (RNECY), and plans to use it to expand CMOS image sensor production. The expected sale price is said to be $96M; an MOU could be signed as soon as the beginning of next week.
- The paper points out Sony already has a ~30% share of the CMOS image sensor market, thanks in part to growing sales to Apple, Samsung, and other mobile OEMs.
- The report comes as image sensor rival OmniVision (OVTI) provides soft guidance to go with an earnings beat, and reports of seeing "intensifying competition."
Dec. 3, 2013, 5:38 PM
Dec. 3, 2013, 4:52 PM
- Though OmniVision's (OVTI) FQ2 results beat estimates, the image sensor vendor is guiding for FQ3 revenue of $310M-$340M and EPS of $0.28-$0.44. That's largely below a consensus of $399.9M and $0.43. (PR)
- OmniVision notes its saw slowing smartphone market growth in FQ2 - IDC estimates calendar Q3 shipments rose 39% Y/Y, albeit with a mix shift towards cheaper phones - as well as "intensifying competition." The company has been battling not only with age-old rival Sony (Apple's other iPhone image sensor supplier), but also Samsung and low-end upstarts such as Himax (HIMX - previous).
- FQ2 gross margin was 18.8%, +140 bps Q/Q and +220 bps Y/Y. In addition, cost controls resulted in opex falling 2% Y/Y to $49.9M (12.5% of revenue).
- OmniVision's cash balance rose by $25.1M Q/Q to $265.6M.(equal to 35% of its current market cap). With shares depressed, could the company end up deploying some of that cash in a new buyback? OmniVision hasn't announced one since 2011.
- CC at 5PM ET. FQ2 results, PR.
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