Silicon Laboratories Sees Better Days Ahead

Strong first-quarter bookings should mean an even better Q2 for the fabless semiconductor specialist.

Steve Symington
Steve Symington
Apr 24, 2019 at 3:32PM
Technology and Telecom

Silicon Laboratories (NASDAQ:SLAB) announced first-quarter 2019 results on Wednesday morning. The fabless semiconductor company not only detailed the continued strength of its promising Internet of Things (IoT) business, but also teased of an impending acceleration in growth based on encouraging bookings to start the year.

With shares up more than 14% as of this writing, let's take a closer look at how Silicon Labs kicked off the year.

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Image source: Getty Images.

Silicon Labs results: The raw numbers

Metric

Q1 2019

Q1 2018

Year-Over-Year Change

Revenue

$188.1 million

$205.4 million

(8.4%)

GAAP net income

$5.4 million

$26.4 million

(79.5%)

GAAP diluted earnings per share

$0.12

$0.60

(80%)

Data source: Silicon Labs. GAAP = generally accepted accounting principles. 

What happened with Silicon Labs this quarter?

  • On an adjusted (non-GAAP) basis, which excludes items like acquisition expenses and stock-based compensation, net income was $25.8 million, or $0.59 per share.
  • Revenue arrived at the midpoint of Silicon Labs' guidance provided in January for a range of $183 million to $193 million, while adjusted earnings were well above its outlook for a per-share range of between $0.42 and $0.52.
  • By segment:
    • IoT revenue grew 3% year over year, and fell 11% sequentially to $106 million.
    • Infrastructure revenue was down 7% year over year, and flat sequentially at $46 million.
    • Broadcast revenue declined 27% year over year, and dropped 25% sequentially to $26 million.
    • Access revenue was down 43% year over year, and fell 36% from last quarter to $10 million.

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What management had to say

CEO Tyson Tuttle stated:

We exited 2018 with strong design win momentum and leading positions in key secular growth markets. Despite macro turbulence, Q1 bookings were robust, signaling a Q2 rebound. We believe we are well-positioned to outperform the market.

Looking forward

Silicon Labs expects second-quarter 2019 revenue ranging from $202 million to $212 million -- down from $217.1 million in the year-ago period -- assuming continued flat sales from the infrastructure segment and a return to sequential growth at the IoT, access, and broadcast businesses. On the bottom line, that should mean Silicon Labs achieves GAAP earnings per diluted share of between $0.16 and $0.26, and adjusted earnings per share of between $0.70 and $0.80.

In this case -- and though we don't usually lend much credence to Wall Street's expectations -- this guidance far exceeded analysts' consensus estimates for second-quarter adjusted earnings of $0.63 per share on revenue of $201.5 million.

Make no mistake, Silicon Labs still has some work to do before it finds sustained, profitable growth on a consolidated basis. But this quarter appears to mark a crucial turning point toward that end, and Silicon Labs stock is understandably rallying as a result.