Ambarella (AMBA -13.25%), which provides chips for well-known sports cameras such as those from GoPro (GPRO -0.62%), reported earnings following market close on Dec. 4. The company posted revenue of $65.7 million and earnings per share of $0.68, crushing analyst consensus (per Yahoo! Finance) of $62.54 million and $0.54, respectively.
Further, the company guided to a revenue range of between $57 million and $60 million for the coming quarter, also ahead of analyst consensus of $51.08 million. Ambarella has, once again, pulled off a solid "beat and raise."
Let's dig further into what's going on with the company.
Strong wearable and IP security camera markets
During Ambarella's earnings call, CFO George Laplante noted that both the wearable sports camera and professional IP security camera markets "demonstrated strong growth in the quarter, both sequentially and year over year." He highlighted GoPro as a key driver for wearable sports cameras and claimed that IP security camera revenues grew "faster than projections for the IP security market, driven by strong results from Asia."
Wang was also upbeat about the consumer IP security market, but noted that this segment "remains a small percentage of [Ambarella's] overall security market revenues."
Interestingly enough, Wang also noted that IP security camera chips were Ambarella's highest-volume products during the quarter, but that sports cameras -- thanks to high ASPs and a strong product mix -- brought in the most revenue dollars.
Automobile market grew, but infrastructure revenues soft
Laplante stated that the company's automobile-related revenues grew both sequentially and year over year, "reflecting growth in both Korea and China." That said, he did note that the automotive market in Russia -- one where Laplante asserts that "higher-end dash-cam products are more popular -- was still challenging as a result of "weak economic conditions."
Things weren't as easy for Ambarella in the broadcast infrastructure market. Laplante noted that revenues from this market were actually down year over year, "as system manufacturers continue to experience soft markets in most regions." This points to an overall market weakness problem and not necessarily an issue with Ambarella's execution.
What about the current quarter?
In addition to discussing the key business trends during the quarter, Laplante discussed Ambarella's view of how the business will trend in the current quarter and for the coming fiscal year.
During the current quarter, Laplante expects both professional and consumer IP camera revenues to "have a solid improvement," and expects both sequential and year-over-year growth. Wearable sports cameras (i.e., GoPro) should grow year over year, but that revenue is expected to decline sequentially. Automotive-related revenues are also expected to post both sequential and year-over-year growth.
Next fiscal year?
Ambarella also gave some preliminary comments on the company's expectations for fiscal 2016 (which begins on Feb. 1, 2015).
"We believe year-over-year growth rates will be more in line with our target model as we move through the first half of fiscal 2016, as the holiday push subsides and inventories are normalized," said Laplante during the call.
That "target model," according to Laplante, is annual revenue growth of about 20%-25%. However, this isn't necessarily a reason to panic: Analyst consensus for fiscal year 2016 sits at 21.10%, so it's not as though the analyst community (and by extension, investors) was expecting wildly higher future growth rates.
Another solid job from Ambarella
The bottom line is that the company executed very well, yet again, in the most recent quarter and in its guide for the fourth fiscal 2015 quarter.