December 4, 2009
Marvell Technology Group (Nasdaq: MRVL ) is sniffing around at two-year highs today after a stellar earnings report. That's right -- the chip designer has not only recovered from the Panic of 2008, but also risen above it on an 8% rocket boost today. The way I see it, there's plenty of rocket fuel left in Marvell's tanks.
Third-quarter revenue of $803 million was a 25% sequential increase and a 2% year-over-year gain. Thanks to a much-improved gross margin and some operating efficiencies, those revenue gains multiplied further down the income statement; $0.31 of GAAP earnings per share was a massive improvement over last quarter's $0.09 per share or the year-ago period's $0.11 per share.
Marvell's chips are in high demand, particularly for building smartphones and high-speed enterprise network switches. The recent introduction of the Armada processor should ensure that smartphones and other consumer devices will continue to add to Marvell's top and bottom lines for a long time.
Launched in October as an alternative to high-end mobile processors like the Qualcomm (Nasdaq: QCOM ) Snapdragon or Texas Instruments (NYSE: TXN ) OMAP lines, there are already more than 50 Armada-based products under development. The faster versions of the Armada product line boast gigahertz speeds, and compare well to the chips that power the Palm (Nasdaq: PALM ) Pre, Motorola (NYSE: MOT ) Droid, and Apple (Nasdaq: AAPL ) iPhone 3GS phones. Marvell got into this line of business in 2006 by purchasing the mobile processor division of Intel (Nasdaq: INTC ) , and looks ready to compete in what has become a flaming-hot niche market.
There are plenty of attractive chip stocks on the market today, but Marvell certainly deserves a second look from any tech-minded investor. Would you buy Marvell today, or is the stock too expensive after tripling in the last year? Discuss in the comments below.