What: Investors in Skyworks Solutions (SWKS 0.16%), a semiconductor manufacturer that specializes in mobile communications systems, are having a tough day. The stock has dropped by as much as 11% in early morning trading after the company reported results from a tough quarter.
So what: Skyworks' revenue and earnings per share both declined by more than 7% during the quarter, coming in at $751 million and $1.24, respectively. Those results beat management's own guidance and consensus analyst expectations, so it's unlikely that its reported results are causing the decline.
Instead, it's likely that the markets is reacting negatively toward Skyworks forward guidance. Management is projected that the upcoming quarter will also show a decline in both sales and profits.
The reason for the downward pressure on sales can be directly attributable to Apple. The iPhone maker is in the process of reducing its channel inventory, and since it is Skyworks' largest customer, it is having a hard time making up for lost revenue.
Now what: Despite all the gloom and doom, Skyworks does continue to offer up reasons to be optimistic. For one, the company's forecast assumes roughly 10% sequential growth, which could indicate that the worst of the smartphone slowdown is over.
The company is also doing an excellent job at managing its cost structure during this rough patch. Gross margins actually grew by 190 basis points during the period to 50.9%, which is an impressive results in the face of declining revenue. Skyworks also continues to open up new growth channels as this quarter we saw new design wins from the automotive sector as well as new products launches in the wearable, industrial, and connectivity markets.
Management is also doing its best to reward its long-term shareholders who stick with the company through this challenging period. Skyworks repurchased 3 million shares of its common stock during the quarter, and its board authorized another $400 million buyback plan. They even increase the dividend payment by 8%.
Still, Skyworks' investors have become accustom to seeing double-digit growth in revenue and profits over the last few years, so two quarters in a row of declining sales isn't exactly an easy pill to swallow. Perhaps it shouldn't be much of a surprise to see that some investors stepping away from the stock today.