Shares of chipmaker InvenSense's (NYSE:INVN)are down, hard, after the company announced its latest earnings result and forward guidance for the current quarter. The stock, which traded at just north of $21 per share before the quarterly report, is now just above $15. After such a significant haircut, it's worth asking whether now is the time to buy InvenSense stock.
The bull case
The argument for owning this stock over the long haul goes something like this: InvenSense, despite the weaker than expected financial performance, is still poised to grow as demand increases for mobile devices with increasingly sophisticated sensor content. Other opportunities, such as wearables and game consoles, could also help drive long-term growth.
Additionally, while the company appears to have nearly maxed out its gyroscope and accelerometer market share opportunity at the high end of the smartphone market, it still has an opportunity to capture share in the midrange of that market.
Finally, InvenSense appears to be making progress in growing its content share within the mobile market. CEO Behrooz Abdi stated on the company's most recent earnings call that "additional content opportunities," which include pressure sensors and optical image stabilization, should "contribute additional revenue in [fiscal 2016]," and over the long term "double [InvenSense's] served available market in mobile."
So, growth as mobile devices grow, as well as additional content share gain opportunities, underpin the buy thesis for InvenSense.
The bear case
On the other side of the coin, even despite the recent share price drop, InvenSense still commands a premium multiple. It is trading at about 3.6 times revenue estimates for full 2014, and, if you believe Piper Jaffray's estimates, 36 times expected non-generally accepted accounting principles earnings per share for the year.
Some might view this multiple as undeserved in light of potential execution risk as a result of InvenSense's inventory writedown in its most recent quarter. Others may cite the risks that come with customer concentration issues, particularly as InvenSense cited a five-point margin decline as a result of lower-margin sales to Apple and Samsung.
Additionally, many have argued that second-sourcing by InvenSense's customers over the long run is a risk. If InvenSense can stay a step or two ahead of its competition technologically, then this clearly isn't a major risk, but there's no guarantee that InvenSense will retain such a leadership position.
Is it time to buy?
I think over the next quarter or two InvenSense shares will continue to frustrate, as there doesn't seem to be a clear catalyst to ignite a big upward move in the stock. This probably is not the stock for investors simply looking to make a fast buck. That said, the long-term story seems intact.
If InvenSense can deliver multiple strong quarters in a row, it is likely to regain some of the investor trust that was lost as a result of the aforementioned inventory writedown, which likely took many investors by surprise. Additionally, while fears of potential second-sourcing by InvenSense customers is likely to be in focus now, those concerns should be assuaged if the company shows over a number of quarters that it is not losing share among key customers.
The long-term opportunity seems to be there for InvenSense to capitalize on, but it's ultimately going to come down to whether the company can actually grab it.