Radio-chip designer Skyworks Solutions (Nasdaq: SWKS ) reported fourth-quarter results last night, and it was the kind of performance that usually sends stocks down.
Revenue and earnings edged out analyst estimates by a hair but guidance for the next quarter fell far below Street expectations. In response, one analyst firm cut the stock from buy to hold while another simply reduced target prices. In a word: ouch.
So if the report was so terrible, how come Skyworks shares are up 5% on an otherwise gloomy market day? In another word: relief.
Skyworks shares plunged when rival TriQuint Semiconductor (Nasdaq: TQNT ) reported results last week with its own bucketful of weak guidance. This little relief rally simply restored Skyworks to the levels they occupied just before the TriQuint report. TriQuint, of course, got no such relief and remains deflated by about 25%.
That soft first-quarter guidance points to "pockets of industry softness" in the short term. More specifically, CEO Dave Aldrich highlights "tentative" orders from some Android smartphone builders and "sluggishness" in chips destined for North American wireless infrastructure installations.
That's a little bit different from what touchscreen specialist Atmel (Nasdaq: ATML ) said earlier this week. Atmel saw Android tablets seriously lagging behind Apple (Nasdaq: AAPL ) iPads, but Skyworks reports that handsets account for the bulk of its Android-related weakness. "Tablets in general, we're very bullish on tablets," said Liam Griffin, VP of High Performance Analog. "We're going to continue to gain next year regardless of operating system."
Granted, Skyworks has the luxury of serving the iPad account in a big way while Atmel does not. But that only makes the "regardless of operating system" comment ring more bullish.
I've got an "outperform" rating on Skyworks in our CAPS system, but I'd start one today if I hadn't already. Sales are growing at a 29% annual clip while earnings are inflating even faster; expect the next quarter or two to be a rare speed bump in an otherwise smooth runway. And you can get all of this for just 10 times forward earnings.
This stock clearly belongs on your watchlist if you're at all interested in wireless communications, right next to deeply undervalued camera-chip producer OmniVision Technologies (Nasdaq: OVTI ) and unchallenged audio titan Cirrus Logic (Nasdaq: CRUS ) . Do yourself a favor and add them all to your watchlist right now -- you'll be glad to learn more about these deep, deep values.