You Can Invest in Marvell's Armada

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.

Fool contributor Anders Bylund holds no position in any of the companies discussed here. Apple is a Motley Fool Stock Advisor selection. Intel is a Motley Fool Inside Value selection, and Motley Fool Options has recommended calls on the company. Try any of our Foolish newsletters today, free for 30 days. You can check out Anders' holdings and a concise bio if you like, and The Motley Fool is investors writing for investors.


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