Apr. 28, 2014, 11:09 AM
- Skyworks (SWKS - unchanged) and Panasonic (PCRFY) are forming a JV to develop SAW filters for mobile devices and other products.
- Skyworks will pay $148.5M in cash for a 66% stake in the JV, which will be have 590 employees and facilities in Japan and Singapore. The deal is expected to close by the end of calendar Q3, and be immediately accretive to margins and EPS.
- Rival Avago (AVGO -1.4%) is trading lower. Avago has differentiated its RF modules (particularly for 4G designs) partly through the use of FBAR filters (a type of BAW filter) offering better performance than SAW alternatives
- Morgan Stanley estimated last fall Avago has a ~70% share of the premium filter market, and predicted the market will grow to $1.75B in 2015 from slightly over $800M in 2013. TriQuint (TQNT -0.2%), about to merge with RF Micro (RFMD +0.8%), was estimated to have the remaining 30%.
- Skyworks asserts the JV is complementary to its ongoing BAW filter investments, and that Panasonic is the leader in the growing market for high-performance TC SAW filters - typically more expensive than traditional SAW filters, but cheaper than BAW filters. The company predicts the deal will allow it to "develop customized solutions for any band configuration where filter technology is applicable."
Mar. 27, 2014, 7:20 AM| 95 Comments
Mar. 1, 2014, 12:54 PM
- The new Gigafactory from Tesla Motors (TSLA) could consume as much as 17% of the current global lithium output in a development that could ease concerns on oversupply, forecasts Goldman Sachs.
- The EV automaker is expected to build the large facility in either Nevada, Arizona, Texas, or New Mexico - regions which are all close to major lithium factories.
- Panasonic (PCRFY) will play a major role in the roll-out of the Gigafactory. Shares of the ADRs were up over 10% this week as enthusiasm built up over some of the potential down the road for the company in battery production.
- Goldman notes that lithium producers such as Rockwood Holdings (ROC) could be well-positioned if Tesla's Gigafactory helps support market demand for lithium.
- A rising tide lifts all lithium boats: If lithium demand improves, other companies to watch in the lithium-ion battery industry include Arotech (ARTX), Polypore Internationak (PPO), Western Lithium (WLCDF), FMC Corporation (FMC), EnerSys (ENS), and Sociedad Quimica y Minera de Chile (SQM).
- Related ETFs: LIT
Feb. 26, 2014, 3:30 AM
- Panasonic (PCRFY) is reportedly considering investing in a lithium-ion battery factory that Tesla is planning to build as part of its strategy of making more affordable electric vehicles.
- The "giga" factory would need almost ¥100B ($979M) to construct, and would make lightweight batteries for Tesla as well as for Toyota and other automakers.
- Panasonic is already Tesla's main supplier of batteries and said it wants to expand its collaboration with the U.S. company, although the Japanese firm declined to comment further.
- Last week, Tesla CEO Elon Musk said he expects Panasonic to be a partner in the facility.
- Panasonic's shares jumped 5.3% in Tokyo.
Dec. 20, 2013, 4:42 AM
- TowerJazz Semiconductor (TSEM) has agreed to create a joint venture with Panasonic to produce chips in a deal that will provide the Israeli company with "$400M of annual profitable revenue."
- TowerJazz will own 51% of the JV and will issue Panasonic (PCRFF) with $8m worth of shares. The Japanese conglomerate will transfer three Japanese factories to the JV as part of a wider restructuring and will buy chips from the new entity for five years.
- TowerJazz aims to now earn Q2 2014 revenue of $225M vs $133M a year earlier, become profitable by Q4 2014, and generate $1B of sales in 2015. (PR)
Dec. 4, 2013, 9:35 AM
- TowerJazz's (TSEM) CEO Russell Ellwanger said of media reports claiming the company would buy 3 chip plants from Panasonic (PCRFY) for ~$100M, "I am not confirming about Panasonic but Panasonic is a very, very good semiconductor company with good technologies."
- Ellwanger noted that TowerJazz is keen to find acquisitions that increase capacity through well-run factories, but that "Any type of acquisition we look at would be a few million dollars of cash or equity but nothing more than that."
- The remarks may simply be the drawing of a line in the sand as TowerJazz negotiates with Panasonic, which has long made its intention to divest large parts of its semi operations clear.
Nov. 26, 2013, 2:15 PM
- In a previously speculated move, Panasonic (PCRFY) will sell 3 semi plants in Japan to Israeli chipmaker TowerJazz, the Nikkei reports. Located in Toyama and Niigata, the plants preform mostly front-end steps like forming circuits on wafers that go into Panasonic products.
- Their enterprise value is estimated at ~$97M, and the plants are in need of capex to remain competitive. The majority of 2.5K workers at the plants will be employed by the new owner.
- Panasonic is in talks to sell chip assembly plants in china, Indonesia, and Malaysia as well, with the semi business having posted a ¥20.5B loss on ¥184B in sales in the last fiscal year. The company's medium-term plan calls for stemming hemorrhaging units by FY2015.
Nov. 20, 2013, 2:40 PM
- Panasonic (PCRFY +1.1%) will halve the number of new compact digital camera models it rolls out in 2014 from this year's level, the Nikkei reports. The company is attempting to shift its focus to automotive systems and housing fixtures as it steps back from its struggling TV and consumer gadget businesses.
- Panasonic expects the digital camera business to report losses for the second year in a row, as global sales fall more than 2M units to 4M, the paper wrote.
Nov. 18, 2013, 7:31 AM
- Tesla Motors (TSLA) reportedly has been in discussions with South Korean firms LG Chem and Samsung SDI to help supply it with batteries for its electric vehicles.
- A multi-year deal Tesla has with Panasonic (PCRFY) doesn't preclude it from using other battery suppliers.
- An executive with Tesla notes it would take several years for any new supplier to be fully qualified.
Nov. 8, 2013, 3:27 PM
- Panasonic's (PCRFY -0.7%) 4K Toughpad tablet will sell for a whopping $5,999 starting next year, EnGadget reports.
- The device, aimed at "video production, architecture, design, photography and healthcare" professionals, sports a 20", 3,840x2560 pixel ultra hi-def LCD display, packs an Intel Core i5 CPU, lives on battery for a mere 2 hours, and weighs 5.3 lbs. It can reportedly withstand a fall from more than 2 feet.
- Labeling the price tag "premium" is an understatement, given the iPad Air and Surface Pro 2's $499 and $899 respective price points. However, the niche strategy may benefit from buyers who expense the tablet to their employers. In a market glutted with low- to mid-tier offerings, Panasonic's Toughpad has some chance of carving out its own tier.
Oct. 31, 2013, 2:17 PM
- Panasonic (PCRFY +3.8%) pulls the plug on its plasma TV production efforts. Manufacture will end in Dec. in the single remaining factory (2 have already stopped), and all ops will be shuttered by March. R&D will be diverted to OLED tech.
- Panasonic said it came to its decision "due to rapid, drastic changes in the business environment" and price pressure from LCD models.
Oct. 29, 2013, 9:25 AM
- Advanced Semiconductor Engineering (ASX) is likely to acquire Panasonic's (PCRFY) IC packaging/testing sites overseas, DigiTimes writes citing a local report. The Nikkei reported last week that Panasonic intended to sell of chipmaking plants and halve its workforce.
- Although the report identified ASX as the most likely buyer, a different Nikkei article reported that Panasonic had been in talks with Israeli TowerJazz.
Oct. 27, 2013, 4:07 AM
- H-P (HPQ) has sued manufacturers of optical disk drives for allegedly conspiring to fix the price of their products from 2004-2010.
- The defendants, which control 90% of the market, include Toshiba (TOSBF), Samsung (SSNLF), Sony (SNE), Panasonic (PCRFY) and Philips (PHG).
- The suits follows a long probe by the Department of Justice into price-fixing and bid-rigging. Hitachi-LG Data Storage (LGEIY), another of the defendants, and four of its executives have pleaded guilty to breaches of antitrust law, while the DOJ named H-P as a victim.
- H-P, which purchased billions of dollars of drives, is seeking unspecified triple damages and injunctive relief.
Oct. 23, 2013, 1:46 PM
Sep. 27, 2013, 4:47 AM
- As flagged, KKR (KKR) has agreed to acquire 80% of Panasonic's (PCRFF.OB) healthcare unit in a deal that values that business at ¥165B ($1.67B). The purchase will be KKR's largest in Japan.
- Panasonic Healthcare focuses on three core businesses: In Vitro Diagnostics, Medicom (IT equipment), and Biomedical.
- Panasonic will post a ¥75B extraordinary gain from the deal. (PR)
Sep. 27, 2013, 2:42 AM
- KKR (KKR) is about to make its biggest acquisition in Japan by agreeing to acquire 80% of Panasonic's (PCRFF.OB) healthcare unit for ¥150B ($1.5B), with an announcement expected today.
- KKR received preferential negotiating rights for Panasonic Healthcare, which provides digital medical record systems and equipment that measures blood glucose, following two rounds of bidding in an auction.
PCRFY vs. ETF Alternatives
Panasonic Corporation is one of the largest electronic product manufacturers in the world, comprised of over 634 companies. It manufactures and markets a wide range of products under the Panasonic brand to enhance and enrich lifestyles all around the globe.
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