Marvell Technology Group (Nasdaq: MRVL) is looking less than marvelous today.

Three months ago, Marvell was hot. The company seemed to be setting itself apart from Broadcom (Nasdaq: BRCM), Texas Instruments (NYSE: TXN), and other rivals in the markets for networking chips and mobile processors, and the storage-controller segment was doing just fine despite slow PC sales. Marvell's stock jumped 7% on the release of third-quarter numbers, moving me to exclaim: "That's what you get for delivering the right technologies at the right time, something Marvell has had a knack for in recent years."

The fourth-quarter report is in, and Marvell is singing a very different tune now. Neither the press release nor the analyst call so much as mentioned "mobile processors" or the ARM Holdings (Nasdaq: ARMH) architecture that underlies Marvell's Armada processor line. The Armada name fell from CEO Sehat Sutardja's lips exactly once, and then only with the hope that adoption would accelerate in fiscal 2012.

Largest mobile customer Research In Motion (Nasdaq: RIMM) is shifting low-end 2.5G smartphones by the boatload in markets across the developing world, where 3G networks are hard to come by and 4G remains a pipe dream. Besides being an important data point for RIM investors, that's terrible news for Marvell, which is a major chip supplier for RIM -- but doesn't have 2.5G products available. The company has 2.5G products on tap but has yet to deploy them in meaningful volume to RIM or anybody else.

All told, Marvell earned $0.40 per share on sales of $901 million, below analyst expectations of $0.42 per share and $925 million. The results were at the absolute bottom end of management guidance from three months ago, and $224 million of free cash flow was about 10% below plan.

Everything did not go according to plan for Marvell this quarter. Compare and contrast with how good Broadcom looked in its report a month ago, and I'd understand if you disagreed with my thumbs-up CAPS rating on the stock.

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