Marvell Digs for Gold Behind the Great Wall

If you're investing in Marvell Technology Group (Nasdaq: MRVL  ) , you'd better get familiar with TD-SCDMA technologies.

That alphabet soup lies at the center of the chipmaker's mobile ambitions at the moment, and describes a technology for encoding wireless data that was developed for the world's largest wireless network operator, China Mobile (NYSE: CHL  ) .

"The majority of China Mobile's 600 million subscribers continue migrating to the smartphone market on the TD standard," Marvell CEO Sehat Sutardja told analysts in last night's earnings call. Marvell's first single-chip TD-handling solution shipped this quarter and was an industry first. Sutardja expects sales in that category to double in the next quarter and go on to very significant sales thereafter.

Marvell is by no means the only chip designer with a keen eye on the Chinese TD market. Analog Devices (NYSE: ADI  ) and Altera (Nasdaq: ALTR  ) are ramping up their products targeting the segment as well, and you could argue that TD-SCDMA expertise was a huge factor in Texas Instruments (NYSE: TXN  ) plunking down $6.5 billion to acquire National Semiconductor (NYSE: NSM  ) .

But Marvell's management is confident in its chances to dominate the market. Sutadja claims to win about 80% of new TD smartphone designs based on Android and its Chinese cousin, the OPhone OMS platform. And when the 3G-class TD craze subsides, Marvell already has a TD LTE replacement in the works. "We believe these investments will further distance us from our competitors in TD," said Sutardja.

This detailed picture of coming growth inspired Marvell to issue rosy second-quarter guidance of about roughly $0.37 in earnings per share on $890 million of revenue, comfortably ahead of analyst estimates.

The first quarter was a bit light due to aggressive seasonal effects. But missing these targets by a fair margin on the top line and a slim one in terms of earnings didn't weigh as heavy as that optimistic second-quarter forecast, and Marvell shares jumped as much as 12.3% in early Friday trading. The average daily trading volume was filled in the first 30 minutes.

Some might say it's time to cash out of China, but Marvell is cashing in on that market instead. You owe it to yourself and your portfolio to stay on top of Marvell's Chinese exploits. The best and easiest way to do that is to add the stock to My Watchlist, which then keeps your finger on Marvell's pulse come what may. Just click here to get started.

Fool contributor Anders Bylund holds no position in any of the companies discussed here. The Motley Fool owns shares of Texas Instruments, China Mobile, and Marvell Technology Group. Motley Fool newsletter services have recommended buying shares of China Mobile. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. 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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