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Skyworks Solutions (Nasdaq: SWKS ) is living up to its lofty name today. Shares soared after the maker of analog and mixed-signal chips reported a brilliant third quarter.
Sales increased 9% year-over-year to $389 million, while non-GAAP earnings swooned 8%, to $0.45 per share. Both numbers were better than Wall Street had expected. More importantly, Skyworks' management sent positive signals for the rest of the year. "Skyworks outperformed our addressable markets last quarter and the stage is set for a strong back half of 2012," said CEO David Aldrich.
The company is best known for the power controllers and radio chips it makes for smartphones and tablets. That makes it easy to jump to the conclusion that mobile computing is driving all of Skyworks' growth in the "strong back half" of the year. But that's not necessarily the correct way to think about this company.
Aldrich does credit smartphones for some of his company's strength, but the full picture is a bit more nuanced. He claims bigger market share in "automotive, medical, avionics, military, location services and broadband communications," and "strategic diversification" is the real driver of rising sales in the face of a weak global economy.
In fact, many of the highlights from the just-reported quarter don't have much to do with tablets and smartphones:
- Skyworks started volume production of supporting chips for Broadcom's (Nasdaq: BRCM ) next-generation WiFi products. The so-called 802.11ac revision will indeed show up in mobile gadgets -- but also in laptops, wireless routers, and set-top boxes. One 11ac router can contain as many as six Skyworks chips.
- This company is good for more than high-tech consumer gadgets. Medtronic chose a Skyworks product to protect the electrical signals in a new heart monitor, and the company also introduced power controllers for military-grade radio devices. Yep, your life may depend on Skyworks.
- Notebooks are another high-value target for Skyworks. A "recently introduced ultrathin high-end notebook PC" was said to include 9 Skyworks parts. That might be the Retina-style Macbook Pro, though teardowns seem to find just 6 Skyworks chips in that one. Then again, Intel (Nasdaq: INTC ) is doing its best to promote its Ultrabook platform, so maybe this system didn't come from Cupertino.
All that being said, Apple (Nasdaq: AAPL ) remains one of Skyworks' largest customers besides Samsung and a rapidly falling Nokia (NYSE: NOK ) . The smartphone revolution remains a significant factor in this company's growth, particularly the popularity of Apple’s products. Make sure you understand all of the opportunities and threats facing Apple in our new premium research report. You’ll also receive a full year of updates as key news and events develop, so make sure to grab a copy today.