Although we don't believe in timing the market or panicking over market movements, we do like to keep an eye on big changes -- just in case they're material to our investing thesis.
So what: Qualcomm said that its new RF360 Front End Solution will be a "comprehensive, system-level solution" that includes an antenna tuner, envelope power tracker, integrated power amplifier and antenna switch, forcing Mr. Market to discount the potential competitive impact on the much smaller RF Micro. Given Qualcomm's massive scale, deep R&D pockets, and wealth of expertise, it's no surprise that some RF Micro investors already seem to be conceding significant market share losses.
Now what: While analysts believe that Qualcomm will continue to work closely with RF vendors, its very entry into the space doesn't exactly bode well for RF Micro's long term. "Our new RF devices are tightly integrated and will allow us the flexibility and scalability to supply OEMs of all types, from those requiring only a region-specific LTE solution, to those needing LTE global roaming support," said Qualcomm's senior vice president of product management, Alex Katouzian. So when you couple the new competitive headwind facing RF Micro with the fact that its stock is still up about 30% from its 52-week lows, the risk/reward trade-off seems unappealing even after today's plunge.