What Is SiRF's Valuation?

| About: SiRF Technology (SIRF)

Over the last few weeks, I have been writing about SiRF Technology Holdings (SIRF), and am amply clear that at this time, a merger or acquisition would be the best end-game for the company. The earnings conference call did not offer any immediate solace to SiRF investors though the company executives promised a turn of fortunes by the end of this year.

In this article, I will conclude this series with a valuation of the GPS leader. I have carried this valuation primarily from an acquisition stand-point. To appreciate the perspectives offered in this piece, I recommend catching up on your reading here.

My most optimistic valuation of SiRF is at $11.70 per share. In estimating the company’s value, I assumed that the company’s management can carry its restructuring exercise well enough to bring its operating expenses back on track and close to 35% of the revenue. Despite my skepticism, I have also assumed liberal market shares in the various segments.

SiRF’s woes primarily are due to its inability to counter the new wave of competition in the burgeoning cellular handset market. The TAM for the cellular handset GPS is expected to double to over $1bn in 2010 and beyond. Excluding Qualcomm’s (NASDAQ:QCOM) market share, the rest of the cellular handset GPS TAM is expected to be 40-50% of the TAM for the mobile GPS market. The driver behind the mass adoption of GPS in mobile handsets is the reduction in ASP. Its high-performance receivers notwithstanding, SiRF runs the risk of being marginalized as more and more mobile chipset providers bundle and aggressively price GPS solutions with its products.

Even in segments where it has a dominant presence today, SiRF will find tough competition moving forward. Broadcom (BRCM)(Global Locate) replaced SiRF in ONE (TomTom’s best-selling PND.) Even the portable CE and Portable computer segments for which SiRF is collaborating with Intel (NASDAQ:INTC) will also face stiff competition from Qualcomm’s Snapdragon and Snap Star solutions.

In summary, I don’t see the company getting anywhere close to its glory days again. The 52-week high of $30.61 is but a dream. I have been maintaining so far that its current range for SiRF’s share price is too low. Perhaps, not any more! If SiRF continues to incur heavy expenses and fails to retain its mobile market share, I would value it close to $6. So, the market is justified in its caution.

My price for an acquisition would be $11.70. If the company decides to stay by itself, the realization of this value will solely depend on efficient expense management, and the ability of SiRF to efficiently retain good market share levels.

Disclosure: I picked up the company’s shares close to its bottom. I will monitor its movement and offload it at around $10-$11 without blinking an eye. But that is just me!

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