RF Micro, Multi-Fineline: Semi Slowdown Hasn't Bottomed

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When it comes to RF Micro Device's (RFMD) confirmation of its fiscal fourth quarter guidance, you can ignore the first few paragraphs of the press release and skip straight to the bottom, where CFO Dean Priddy says: Next quarter will see a slowdown in demand "from a top tier customer that will impact our operating results."

Furthermore, customer forecasts "in the aggregate" suggest "a sequential decrease in the June quarter for revenue, margins and EPS. And that's before the company gets true visibility, which Priddy says isn't expected for several more weeks.

And don't overlook CEO Bob Bruggeworth's comments that he sees "challenges" in the near term "as we navigate through product cycles both at RFMD and our leading customers in the coming quarters." Note he used plural on customers.

This underscores what I wrote in the WSJ and on MarketWatch a week or so ago: End demand is not rising.

As further support, we have Multi-Fineline Electronix (NASDAQ:MFLX), which makes flexible printed boards. I originally wrote about it the same day I mentioned NetLogic last April -- in a column that focused on the dangers of any company having too many eggs in one basket.

Multi-Fineline, at the time, got 88% of its sales from Motorola (MOT). Now the company says that its second quarter "has been negatively impacted by less than anticipated sales" to its largest customer. So much, as some chipmakers have opined, for the bottom being in sight.

RFMD vs. MFLX

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Tagged: , Semiconductor - Integrated Circuits
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