Last year, NXP Semiconductors (NASDAQ:NXPI) was revealed to be the supplier of Apple's (NASDAQ:AAPL) M7 motion coprocessor found inside of the iPhone 5s, iPad Air, and iPad mini with Retina Display. This year, NXP not only benefits from having the motion coprocessor slot inside of the latest iPhones and iPads, but it now supplies NFC chips into the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus.
While these opportunities at Apple (and the opportunities within smartphones in general) look compelling, it's easy to overlook that NXP has a rather diverse business that services multiple end markets.
For example, during its most recent earnings presentation, NXP broke out its 2013 revenue by segment: 24% came from standard products, 10% came from portable and computing, 16% from infrastructure and industrial, 22% from automotive, and 28% from identification.
That said, here are three things that investors should keep an eye out for when NXP reports.
No. 1: Q3 guidance versus expectations
On NXP's second-quarter call, CFO Peter Kelly stated that NXP expects revenue for the current quarter to come in between $1.47 billion and $1.52 billion (implying a midpoint of $1.495 billion). He also expects the company to generate between $1.25 and $1.35 in non-GAAP earnings per share at the quarter, suggesting a midpoint of $1.30.
The consensus (per Yahoo! Finance) among the analysts covering the company for the quarter doesn't deviate too much from guidance: revenue consensus sits at $1.50 billion and non-GAAP earnings-per-share consensus is at $1.31.
In order to simply "meet" expectations for the quarter, it just needs to slightly beat the midpoint of guidance, so it's not as though the analysts have set a particularly high bar to clear.
No. 2: Looking ahead at Q4
The lack of a positive or negative preannouncement from NXP suggests some confidence that the company will report a solid third quarter. Investors are much likely to be interested in what NXP says about its outlook for the fourth quarter.
Current analyst consensus for the fourth quarter sits at $1.5 billion in revenue and a slight decline in earnings per share to $1.29.
Apple's recent comments about iPhone demand are certainly encouraging for companies like NXP that have solid exposure to iPhone sales, and could lead to a nice boost during the fourth quarter. That being said, it's important to keep in mind that much of NXP's business has nothing to do with Apple so better-than-expected orders from Apple might not necessarily mean that NXP's business as a whole outperforms.
No. 3: About that chip slowdown ...
In fact, Morgan Stanley's Joseph Moore pointed out that NXP could be at risk of being affected by the "broad-based slowdown" (although he did point to NFC as an "offset") that Microchip recently suggested would begin to play out across the semiconductor industry.
In light of this, it's worth listening to what NXP has to say about this potential slowdown, and whether it will see as big an impact as some of its peers have and/or will. If NXP seems generally upbeat, then there's probably not too much risk that analysts will revise down their fiscal 2015 revenue/earnings estimates. If not, then those estimates (which call for 9.2% revenue growth and 15.5% earnings-per-share growth) could come down.
Ashraf Eassa has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool recommends Apple and NXP Semiconductors. The Motley Fool owns shares of Apple. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.