Tue, Jan. 6, 1:36 PM
- Up 30% in 2014, the Philadelphia Semi Index (SOXX -2.2%) has fallen over 4% thus far in 2015. Today's decline comes as the Nasdaq drops 1.6%.
- Many names are posting 3%+ losses. SWKS -4.2%. QRVO -5.8%. AMAT -3.4%. KLAC -3.1%. SYNA -5.4%. IPHI -9%. ARMH -5.4%. SIMO -4.5%. MCRL -3.9%. AMCC -3.9%. CODE -5.1%. CY -4.6%. QUIK -7.9%.
- This morning, Gartner estimated global chip sales rose 7.9% in 2014 to $339.8B, a little less than the 9.4% recently estimated by IHS. Sell-side firms have forecast industry growth will fall to the ~5% range in 2015.
- Gartner thinks memory sales rose 16.9%, fueled by a 31.7% increase in DRAM sales. All other chip markets rose by 5.4%, a marked improvement from 2013's 0.8%. Intel (15% share) and Samsung (10.4%) claimed over a quarter of industry sales between them. Qualcomm (5.6%), Micron (4.9%), and SK Hynix (4.7%) rounded out the top-5.
- Chip ETFs: SMH, XSD, PSI, SOXL, USD, SOXS, SSG
Fri, Jan. 2, 9:47 AM
- As of today, RF Micro and TriQuint no longer exist as independent companies. Qorvo (NASDAQ:QRVO), the post-merger entity, is currently trading above $68 on the Nasdaq.
- Last month, SA Pro author Helix Investment Research argued in favor of holding onto Qorvo, in spite of RF Micro and TriQuint's huge 2014 gains. Helix cited strong post-merger synergies/expected margin expansion, a healthy balance sheet, and ongoing industry growth thanks to the higher RF content of 4G devices.
Dec. 29, 2014, 8:05 AM
- Needham Quinn Bolton is turning more cautious on chip stocks following a blistering 2014: Skyworks (NASDAQ:SWKS), RF Micro (NASDAQ:RFMD), TriQuint (NASDAQ:TQNT), Cavium (NASDAQ:CAVM), M/A-COM (NASDAQ:MTSI), and MaxLinear (NYSE:MXL) have been downgraded to Hold, and Ambarella (NASDAQ:AMBA) downgraded to Underperform.
- Bolton often cites valuation. Regarding Skyworks, he notes shares are "up 161% YTD in 2014, vs. 30.3% for the SOX Index and 15.1% for the NASDAQ Composite, and trading above [Needham's] prior price target of $70, or 14x our CY16E non-GAAP EPS estimate."
- Likewise, Bolton notes RF Micro and TriQuint, who will be jointly known as Qorvo starting on Jan. 1, have exceeded his respective targets of $16.50 and $27.50 (12x 2016E EPS), and would prefer to see if a buying opportunity emerges in 1H15. Cavium is trading above Needham's $58 target (based on a DCF valuation model).
- Regarding Ambarella, he cites not only valuation, but also a belief the video processor vendor could underperform in 2015 due to slowing revenue growth, gross margin pressure, and price pressure from top customer GoPro. "A more challenging cable outlook and a push-out in the ramp of its satellite gateway and ODU opportunities" are cited as reasons for downgrading MaxLinear.
- SWKS -1.2% premarket. RFMD -1.1%. TQNT -1.9%. AMBA -3.5%.
- Last Friday: Chip industry growth expected to slow following strong 2014
- Bullish opinions: Brean, Rosenblatt
Dec. 22, 2014, 4:58 PM
- Brean's Mike Burton left a talk with RF Micro (NASDAQ:RFMD) IR chief Doug Delieto believing "some of the recent investor concerns about a ‘coming deterioration in pricing and/or margins’ looks like ‘healthy paranoia’ (we share the feeling, but it doesn’t look likely).”
- Meanwhile, CFO William Priddy stated he believes Qorvo, as RF Micro and TriQuint (NASDAQ:TQNT) will be known post-merger, can hold its margins steady in calendar Q1 even if revenue falls 10%-15% Q/Q due to seasonality. He adds
- Burton adds TriQuint "continues to see tightness" in the BAW and TC SAW filter markets, and that "conversations with other supply chain management and investor reps lead us to believe that, for those that are exposed to Apple, this quarter is playing out as well or better than was expected." Avago's recent numbers point in the same direction.
- Rising Chinese 4G phone sales are also viewed as a tailwind, given the higher RF content of 4G devices relative to 3G counterparts. Fast-growing Xiaomi was TriQuint's 2nd-biggest BAW filter customer last quarter.
- RF Micro rose 3.5% in regular trading, and TriQuint rose 3.6%. The Philadelphia Semi Index was up 1.2%.
Dec. 15, 2014, 5:01 PM
- James A. Clifford, until now RF Micro's (NASDAQ:RFMD) VP of global sourcing and foundry tech, has been hired by AMD to be its SVP of global operations. The job puts him in charge of "all aspects of AMD's end-to-end manufacturing and supply chain strategy."
- Clifford, 69, spent less than two years at RF Micro. He previously spent 17 years in executive roles at Qualcomm, and 20 before that at Unisys.
- The appointment comes two months after AMD named Lisa Su, who for a short while was the chipmaker's COO, its CEO. AMD hasn't named a COO to replace Su.
Dec. 15, 2014, 11:01 AM
- Citing valuation, D.A. Davidson has downgraded RF Micro (RFMD -3.8%) and TriQuint (TQNT -3.8%), soon to jointly be known as Qorvo, to Neutral. Its targets are respectively $16 and $27.
- RF Micro is up 156%, and TriQuint is up 170%, since the RF component vendors announced their "merger of equals" on Feb. 24.
Dec. 4, 2014, 12:14 PM
- Avago (AVGO +7.7%) has soared above $100 after beating FQ4 estimates, reporting a stronger-than-expected gross margin, and providing above-consensus FQ1 guidance.
- RF component peers Skyworks (SWKS +4.2%), RF Micro (RFMD +3.9%), and TriQuint (TQNT +4%) are also up, as is fellow iPhone supplier Cirrus Logic (CRUS +2.6%). Cirrus recently sold off after Deutsche cut its calendar Q1 iPhone production forecast.
- On its CC (transcript), Avago noted wireless growth (+73% Q/Q and +83% Y/Y) was "largely driven by the ramp of a new smartphone generation and a large North American smartphone OEM" (undoubtedly Apple).
- Avago added it also saw strong demand for FBAR filter-related products (gaining share due to 4G RF requirements) elsewhere, with demand from Chinese 4G phone OEMs particularly strong. Over 80% of wireless revenue is now FBAR-related.
- Avago expects wireless revenue to be "flat to perhaps slightly down" Q/Q in seasonally weak FQ1, with strong demand from Apple (referred to once more as "a large North American smartphone OEM") offsetting seasonal declines elsewhere. The company notes it remains "very capacity-constrained," and has been making investments to deal with the issue.
- At least 10 sell-side firms have hiked their targets.
Nov. 24, 2014, 11:41 AM| 1 Comment
Nov. 7, 2014, 3:18 PM
- Skyworks (SWKS -3.7%) has received at least seven target hikes since delivering above-consensus FQ1 guidance yesterday afternoon and upping its dividend. But shares are nonetheless seeing profit-taking following a huge 2014 rally. Peers RF Micro (RFMD -4.4%), TriQuint (TQNT -4.1%), and Avago (AVGO -3%), each of which has also fared well this year, are also selling off.
- Needham (target hiked to $70) notes FQ4 results benefited from "broad-based demand drivers including content gains at multiple smartphone OEMs, the LTE ramp in China, the 3G upgrade cycle in emerging markets, multi-stream 802.11ac [Wi-Fi] deployments and [high-power amplifier] penetration across multiple vertical end markets." It also observes management "expects revenue will continue to grow at a rate faster than the industry in F1Q15 and FY15 overall."
- Oppenheimer declares the RF component boom cycle to be in its early innings. Pac Crest thinks Skyworks' Apple sales are offsetting Samsung weakness, and is upbeat about strong non-mobile demand. "Channels remain lean and inventory build suggests good multi-quarter visibility," says BofA/Merrill.
- Shares currently go for 14x the pre-earnings FY15 (ends Sep. '15) EPS consensus exc. net cash; the consensus should go up post-earnings.
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
Oct. 29, 2014, 7:14 PM
- In addition to trouncing FQ2 estimates, RF Micro (NASDAQ:RFMD) has guided for FQ3 revenue of $385M and EPS of $0.33, above a consensus of $357M and $0.28.
- Nonetheless, shares are down 0.8% AH, after rising 9% in regular trading due to TriQuint's (NASDAQ:TQNT) results and guidance. Strong iPhone-related sales and rising 4G phone shipments (they carry higher RF chip content) appear to be giving a lift to both companies ahead of their merger. TriQuint is down 1% after rising 9.6% in regular trading.
- Gross margin rose to 48% in FQ2 from 47.1% in FQ1 and 36.2% a year ago. GAAP costs/expenses fell 5% Y/Y to $287.4M.
- FQ2 results, PR
Oct. 29, 2014, 4:02 PM
Oct. 29, 2014, 9:15 AM
Oct. 28, 2014, 5:48 PM
Oct. 28, 2014, 4:28 PM
- TriQuint (NASDAQ:TQNT) expects Q4 revenue of $330M-$340M and EPS of $0.40-$0.45, well above a consensus of $313.9M and $0.35.
- The company adds it's "fully booked to the midpoint of revenue guidance." Strong iPhone-related orders are likely helping.
- Q3 gross margin was 46.6%, up from 41.7% in Q2 and 38% a year ago; a GM of 46%-48% is expected in Q4. Opex rose 9% Y/Y to $74.7M.
- Merger partner RF Micro (NASDAQ:RFMD) is following TriQuint higher ahead of tomorrow's FQ2 report.
Oct. 28, 2014, 4:05 PM| Comment!
QRVO vs. ETF Alternatives
Qorvo Inc is a provider of technologies and RF solutions for mobile, infrastructure and aerospace/defense applications. Its products include amplifiers, frequency duplexers, modules and among others.
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