Marvell Plunges After Forecast Trails Analysts’ Estimates profit 222M/800M 27%

Marvell Plunges After Forecast Trails Analysts’ Estimates profit 222M/800M 27%
Marvell Technology Group Ltd. (MRVL), the maker of processors for the BlackBerry phone, fell 11 percent in Nasdaq Stock Market trading after predicting sales for its current quarter that fell short of analysts’ estimates.
Revenue for the quarter ending in April will be $800 million to $850 million, said Clyde Hosein, the Santa Clara, California-based company’s chief financial officer, on a conference call yesterday. Analysts had estimated $882.5 million, according to a Bloomberg survey.
Marvell, which also makes chips that control computer hard- disk drives, suffered from eroding demand in the PC market, Chief Executive Officer Sehat Sutardja told analysts on the call. He said he expects that trend to continue.
Demand for tablet computers such as Apple Inc. (AAPL)’s iPad is cutting into laptop sales and orders for components such as hard disk drives, said Gartner Inc., a Stamford, Connecticut-based research firm. Tablets use flash-memory chips, rather than disk drives, for storage.
Marvell shares fell $2.09 to $16.13 at 4 p.m. New York time, the biggest one-day decline since August 2007. The stock has dropped 13 percent this year.
The company reported net income of $222.8 million, or 33 cents a share, for the three months ended Jan. 29, compared with $204.8 million, or 31 cents, in the same period a year earlier. Sales rose to $901 million from $842.5 million.


      • 1024×768 pixel IPS/FFS display, same as the original iPad
      — No Retina display, but plenty o’ Applesque thinnovation
      ARM Cortex-A9 dual core processor running at 1.2GHz
      SGX543 dual core GPU, 200 to 300 percent powerful than iPhone 4
      • 512MB RAM running @ 1GHz, twice as much as iPad 1
      • Will be GSM and CDMA compatible
      • Will have two cameras — Front camera is 0.3MP (VGA, like iPhone 4), rear one is 1MP (like iPod touch) — SD card slot hasn’t been ruled out
      • 4.5 to 5 million units to be produced this quarter

RIM PLaybook
  • 7-inch LCD, 1024 x 600, WSVGA, capacitive touch screen with full multi-touch and gesture support
  • BlackBerry Tablet OS with support for symmetric multiprocessing
  • 1 GHz dual-core processor
  • 1 GB RAM
  • Dual HD cameras (3 MP front facing, 5 MP rear facing), supports 1080p HD video recording
  • Video playback: 1080p HD Video, H.264, MPEG, DivX, WMV
  • Audio playback: MP3, AAC, WMA
  • HDMI video output
  • Wi-Fi – 802.11 a/b/g/n
  • Bluetooth 2.1 + EDR
  • Connectors: microHDMI, microUSB, charging contacts
  • Open, flexible application platform with support for WebKit/HTML-5, Adobe Flash Player 10.1, Adobe Mobile AIR, Adobe Reader, POSIX, OpenGL, Java
  • Ultra thin and portable:
  • Measures 5.1"x7.6"x0.4" (130mm x 193mm x 10mm)
  • Weighs less than a pound (approximately 0.9 lb or 400g)
  • RIM intends to also offer 3G and 4G models in the future.


蘋果iPad 2亮相後,研究機構陸續上調今年平板電腦出貨量,Digitimes Research今(4)日也宣布,iPad 2在工藝設計、機構、硬體、作業系統上有大幅進步,且延續iPad價格,預期今年蘋果平板電腦出貨量將達3500-4000萬台以上,市占率上看 7 成以上。
Digitimes Research分析師彭建航表示,iPad 2維持了高的性價比,勢必對其他競爭產品產生不小壓力;去年iPad 1購買族群集中在商務人士,市場推模較小,今年甚至可能會倍RIM的Playbook瓜分部分市占,因此蘋果推出iPad 2肩負了打開消費性大眾市場的重要使命,包括隨iPad 2推出的自有多媒體娛樂應用程式,如iMovies、透過配件皮套蓋引進類似iPod nano與iPod mini的多彩繽紛概念,目的就在刺激消費性大眾市場購買iPad 2。彭建航指出,今年在大眾消費市場的斬獲,將決定蘋果平板電腦能否有超過4000萬台的銷售量,而以所有平板電腦出貨總量5500-6500萬台計算,蘋果要衝破4000萬台才能保有 7 成市占率。


Marvell Rumors: Hard Drives, RIM PlayBook

If you own a hard drive, odds are better than even that it has a Marvell Technology Group chip running it. In fact Marvell is a key supplier of many semiconductor devices that go into cell phones, wireless and hardwired networking equipment, and printers.

When Marvell's stock price began to slump yesterday (it closed Monday at $17.21, closed Tuesday at $16.89, down almost 2%), on a day the rest of the market was booming upward, I figured it was because of concerns about the hard disk drive (HDD) business. Reports from the field are that notebook sales are off, as 2 million consumers a month buy iPad tablets instead of refreshing their older notebooks. Less notebook computers means less hard drives, and PC sales in general have not been robust so far this year.

But no, a rumor was floating around, apparently originating with a noted Wall Street analyst, Ashok Kumar of Rodman & Renshaw, that RIM had dumped MRVL for TI for its processor for thePlayBook tablet computer. The rumor made some sense but had some obvious problems too. All stories I found on the net had the same origin, but many managed to deviate from the original, one even calling the RIM PlayBook the BlackPad (RIM is best known for its BlackBerry devices).

Executives of listed corporations are not supposed to give individual analysts market moving news. They are supposed to give all analysts and investors any market-moving news at the same time, usually by a press release or a public conference call. But analysts do all kinds of things to try to figure out what is going to happen before it is announced. I know I do. When I heard the RIM PlayBook announced, I looked to see who made the processor. No answer, but it was an ARM-based processor. As a Marvell investor I hoped my company would have a win, and many other commentators thought that was a good guess.

But RIM and their partners kept the design a secret, so in fact no one should have assumed Marvell won design-in. There are lots of uber-competent ARM-based processor makers to choose from.

So far there has been no confirmation from Marvell, RIM, or TI of the story. Which means it may not be true. Analysts like to have sources in or near companies. We like to ask questions to one company that will give us insight into the financial future of other companies. TI may very well have a design win at RIM, but it may not have ever been a socket Marvell had already won.

Let's look at the rumor as stated. The PlayBook release has been delayed; that much is known true. That would mean there are development problems. Kumar is alleged to have said the QNX OSfor the device had problems, and the Marvell Armada chip for the device had bugs.

Let's see, Marvell chips work fine on BlackBerry phones already, and they work fine on Android phones. So was this a new, as yet untested chip that was buggy? Or was it just hard to integrate with the new QNX OS system? That is a classic engineering problem, with the software guys blaming hardware, and the hardware guys blaming software. If there was a Marvell chip screw up, was it really the chip, or was the incompetence on the RIM team? And why would a TI chip, also based on the same ARM design, work right off with QNX? Is it easier to fix known, discovered bugs, or to start over with a new chip? Usually, it is easier to fix the known bugs. And usually you don't change the processor, because that would require a lot more work than changing the OS to work around the processor's capabilities.

One way a possibly partly true, but obviously flawed, rumor can happen is through the third party. TI guy says to a friend, we got a RIM contract! Friend digs deeper, just a purely tech conversation, and speculation is RIM had some problem with QNX, and Marvell was the team to beat. By the time Friend, who is a regular supplier of tech information, talks to Kumar, the story makes sense, but may not be factually based. Kumar tries to verify the story, but if RIM, TI, or MRVL tells him, they are violating confidentiality contracts and SEC rules, so they don't comment. Kumar goes with his story. If he's right, he's a genius. If he is wrong, the squirrels will forget it soon enough.

At some point an official announcement may be made. Other than that, I'll have to wait until one of my friends gets a PlayBook and pops it open to see what chips are inside.