This Chip Wrangler Stands Alone

Marvell Technology Group (Nasdaq: MRVL  ) sees good times ahead, but don't take that as a prediction for the market as a whole. No, Marvell wants to make darn sure that you see how a fresh inflow of new products will let the company steal market share from chief rivals Qualcomm (Nasdaq: QCOM  ) , Samsung, and Broadcom (Nasdaq: BRCM  ) in the mobile processor area.

First-quarter sales of $856 million was a staggering 64% increase year over year, and last year's $0.18 of net losses per share turned into $0.30 of GAAP earnings per share. CEO Sehat Sutardja claimed victories in the mobile and wireless markets as his primary growth drivers, with more product launches into this field expected to pump up results in the second half of 2010.

When Marvell sent a $600 million check to Intel (Nasdaq: INTC  ) in return for its XScale portfolio of embedded processors, it bought into the right market at the right time. This was in 2006, when Intel was busy defending its honor against the rising Advanced Micro Devices (NYSE: AMD  ) and its powerful 64-bit processors. Desperate to refocus and scale down non-essential operations, Intel dropped XScale like it was hot, and this technology is now one of Marvell's most important businesses. Sales to mobile and wireless end-markets stood for 22% of sales last quarter after an 18% sequential jump, is expected to accelerate to 25% growth into the next quarter, and Marvell claims to have over 50 design wins for the much-vaunted Armada platform.

Don't cry for Intel, which is doing very well elsewhere and still might make a dent on the mobile chip market with a design all its own. But Marvell clearly got the better end of that deal and will continue to ride it to bigger and better places. When Armada-powered tablets and smartphones start hitting stores over the next few months, I think this quarter's success will look like the slums of Beverly Hills by comparison.

My "outperform" rating on Marvell over on CAPS is contributing very effectively to the defense of my all-star status. Marvell can help your CAPS score too in just a few clicks. You can thank me in 2011.

Fool contributor Anders Bylund owns shares in AMD, but he holds no other position in any of the companies discussed here. Intel is a Motley Fool Inside Value selection. The Fool has created a covered strangle position on Intel. Motley Fool Options has recommended a buy calls position on Intel. 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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