Marvell Technology Group (MRVL -1.89%) is a global leader in integrated silicon solutions, providing chips for various applications such as storage and mobile. The company has been an outstanding performer in the last year with shares up more than 50%.
There's more to come in the future. Marvell should benefit from the introduction of LTE in China by China Mobile (CHL), and by supplying its chips to Samsung (NASDAQOTH: SSNLF) for its smartphones.
Marvell is already seeing the benefits of such tailwinds and its fourth-quarter results will reflect it. In the previous quarter, Marvell brought in revenue of $932 million and net income of $0.29 per share. The results exceeded analysts' estimates due to an outstanding performance by the company's storage business, which increased 13% as compared to the previous year. Marvell remains optimistic about its long-term prospects on the back of several growth drivers going forward.
Storage performing well
Marvell's hard-disk drive, or HDD, business has been performing quite well, since the company is gaining market share and is seeing an increase in demand from its customers as a result of stabilization in the global PC market. Moreover, Marvell is seeing strong demand in the enterprise segment and is gaining market share at a top North American HDD customer.
Moving on, Marvell's solid-state drive, or SSD, segment is also seeing rapid growth, with revenue from this business doubling in fiscal 2013. The company saw strong year-over-year growth in its PCI Express and Serial ATA-based products. Marvell is looking to sustain this momentum, so it has recently introduced two new high-performance SSD products, and many more are in the pipeline.
In the networking business, Marvell's performance exceeded its own expectations in the previous quarter. The company saw design wins for its different product lines such as Xelerated, Prestera, and ARMADA ARM system-on-chip. It has also invested in a new fabric technology to address real-time requirements for data centers and mobile infrastructure. This technology offers a significant increase in performance in data centers and mobile infrastructure, which should help Marvell attract more customers.
Short-term weakness in mobile
Marvell saw seasonal weakness in its mobile business in the fourth quarter as a result of product launch delays by certain customers. However, the company expects mobile demand to get back on track in the ongoing quarter, driven by various tailwinds.
Marvell is seeing demand for its LTE products from several customers. Marvell is targeting the high-volume part of the LTE market by providing 4G solutions for platforms in the low-cost segment of the market. The company is seeing huge opportunity in China as the Chinese government has issued TD-LTE licenses to all three mobile operators. Marvell is already engaged with multiple customers for its 4G LTE solutions in China, and it is getting strong orders from customers in this region.
Marvell should benefit from China Mobile's LTE rollout, which is going on at full steam. Since China Mobile is expected to spend $13.41 billion by the end of the year to roll out LTE in the country, Marvell should benefit as more LTE phones are launched in the market. China Mobile is setting up the world's largest LTE network. So, the telecom operator will need more LTE devices from the likes of Huawei and ZTE. Marvell can capitalize on this market by supplying its LTE chipsets for use in Chinese smartphones, as it has been supplying chips to Huawei for a few years now.
Also, Marvell recently saw a key design win in the form of Samsung's Galaxy Win Pro Smartphone for China Mobile's network. Samsung elected to use Marvell's ARMADA Mobile PXA1088 Quad-core platform for this device. Samsung is one of the leading smartphone sellers in China, just behind Xiaomi. In November last year, Samsung had 21% of the Chinese market. If Marvell continues to expand its relationship with Samsung, it could hit gold in the region, since it is the world's biggest smartphone market.
Marvell expects its LTE technology to be used in Ultrabooks, followed by tablets and smartphones in North America. Marvell saw weakness in wireless connectivity because of the decline in the game console business. However, the company's connectivity business outperformed with 15% growth as compared to the previous year. The reason behind this growth is the combination of a new product cycle, as well as increasing attach rates for the company's mobile platforms. Also, to target the smartphone market specifically, Marvell has introduced efficient combo solutions.
Marvell has quite a few tailwinds to count on in the future. The company's customers are leaders in different segments, placing it in an advantageous position to tap different markets such as storage and mobile. Investors can count on this technology stock for impressive returns.