Wireless chip supplier Skyworks Solutions (NASDAQ:SWKS) recently reported its third-quarter financial results. The company posted revenue of $900.8 million, which represented about 20% year-over-year growth and earnings per share of $1.57, up 27% year over year.
Skyworks CEO Liam K. Griffin pointed out on the accompanying earnings call that both the revenue and the earnings-per-share figures were ahead of consensus estimates.
So, another quarter of good results from this solid, well-run company.
Interestingly, during a question-and-answer session on the earnings call, analyst Vivek Arya asked, "The question is what can you do to reduce the reliance on Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) that is still close to 40% of your sales and has been that way over the last several years?"
Here's what Griffin had to say.
Growing beyond Apple
Griffin began by pointing to the significant growth in the company's "broad market" business over the last few years, noting that such business generated "relatively low" revenue "a few years back."
"And now it's a $1 billion business," Griffin said.
The executive went into some additional detail, pointing to Skyworks' work to supply components to China-based smartphone maker Huawei, as well as to the South Korean consumer electronics giant Samsung (NASDAQOTH: SSNLF).
It's not all about smartphones, either. Griffin highlighted the success that the company is having with its Internet of Things, or IoT, businesses, claiming that business there "has been incredible" for the company and that it "leverages different technologies."
Never gonna give Apple up
Although Skyworks is clearly interested in diversifying its business beyond Apple -- diversification brings incremental revenue that can ultimately boost profitability and it makes a business less risky/more sustainable -- Griffin seemed unequivocal about wanting to capture as much Apple business as possible.
"And with respect to our largest customer, we're going to win all the business we can with that account and that's not going to stop," Griffin said.
Some general thoughts on customer concentration
High customer concentration comes with significant risks, as investors in Apple's (soon-to-be former) longtime graphics intellectual property supplier learned back in April.
If a company is highly exposed to a single customer, and that customer sees poor business performance or simply chooses to move to a different supplier, then it could wind up in a world of hurt.
While such high concentration is risky, having a lot of business from a single customer isn't necessarily a bad thing. Skyworks makes a lot of money selling chips to Apple, and if it keeps selling a lot of chips to Apple, that will clearly be good for the company's shareholders.
What Skyworks needs to do -- and it appears that it's doing it quite successfully -- is to add to that large Apple revenue stream other significant revenue streams, preferably revenue streams that allow the company to leverage the technologies it already supplies to Apple.
To be clear, such diversification wouldn't shield Skyworks from damage should Apple dump it, but it'll allow the business to remain viable even if Apple were to take its business elsewhere.