Skyworks Solutions (SWKS 2.30%) went into its fiscal 2020 fourth-quarter results last week with great expectations thanks to surging demand for 5G smartphones, and the company didn't disappoint, delivering a solid set of numbers.
As expected, the chipmaker's revenue and earnings crushed Wall Street's estimates as it rode the initial production run of Apple's (AAPL 1.60%) newest iPhone 12 series and the overall growth of the 5G smartphone market. More importantly, the company's fiscal first-quarter guidance turned out to be much better than what the market expected.
It anticipates year-over-year revenue growth of almost 18% at the midpoint of its guidance range of $1.04 billion to $1.07 billion. Adjusted earnings are expected to jump from $1.68 per share in the prior-year period to $2.06 per share this quarter. But don't be surprised to see Skyworks blast past those numbers once again, as the company is at the beginning of a multi-year tailwind that could boost its biggest business.
The mobile business is on fire
Skyworks got nearly 71% of its total revenue from the mobile business last quarter, recording double-digit growth compared to the prior-year period. This business benefited from the launch of Apple's new 5G iPhones, as evident from the comments made by Skyworks CEO Liam Griffin on the latest earnings conference call. He said:
Notably, the world's leading smartphone manufacturer has just now released its entire lineup of new 5G devices, a key catalyst underpinning our growth thesis.
With Skyworks getting over half of its total revenue from sales of mobile chips to Apple, the success of the new iPhone 12 lineup is going to play an important role in the company's fortunes. Analysts were earlier predicting that Apple could manufacture 60 million to 65 million units of its new phones this year. But their aggressive pricing and Apple's huge installed base of users looking to upgrade to 5G could help the company beat those targets by a wide margin.
DigiTimes predicts that Apple could exit 2020 with sales of 80 million iPhone 12 units. Meanwhile, Chinese investment consultancy Cinda Securities estimates that Apple could move between 230 million and 240 million iPhone 12 units next year. The last time Apple moved more than 230 million iPhones in a year was back in 2015 when the iPhone 6S models were launched. Those phones supported LTE (long-term evolution)-Advanced networks with twice the download speeds of the previous-generation devices.
Fifth-generation (5G) wireless networks are expected to be 20 times faster than 4G, at least theoretically. So there is a good chance that users might upgrade to the new iPhones in big numbers once again and help Skyworks ship more chips to its largest customer, paving the way for stronger growth in the forthcoming quarters.
Skyworks has more tricks up its sleeve
While Apple and mobile phones dominate Skyworks' revenue, the company is expanding its presence in other areas to diversify its business. Its revenue from the broad markets segment (including other verticals such as the Internet of Things (IoT), automotive, consumer, aerospace & defense, and medical and healthcare) also increased in the double digits last quarter.
This segment is benefiting from an increase in demand for chips related to WiFi 6, embedded automotive connectivity, and Skyworks' relationship with major automotive OEMs (original equipment manufacturers) such as BMW and Tesla.
For instance, Skyworks' WiFi 6 solutions are being adopted by the likes of Netgear, Asus, and Amazon, along with other OEMs. The chipmaker is unlikely to lose momentum in this market anytime soon, as the share of WiFi 6 devices is expected to increase to 50% of the overall WiFi market by 2024, compared to 10% at the end of 2019.
On the other hand, the recent gains clocked by Skyworks in the industrial IoT market could be sustainable in the long run. Industrial IoT is another fast-growing space that's expected to clock annual growth of over 29% through 2025, according to third-party estimates.
The stock trades at 19 times forward earnings and is expected to maintain double-digit earnings growth over the coming years, according to analyst estimates compiled by Yahoo! Finance. So given all the catalysts that Skyworks is sitting on and its newly found momentum, it looks like a solid bet for investors looking for a top tech stock that's well-placed to take advantage of new tech trends.