NXP logo

Image source: NXP.

Netherlands-based semiconductor maker NXP Semiconductors (NASDAQ:NXPI) reported second-quarter results after the close of extended trading on Wednesday. Was the late-night report worth the wait? You be the judge.

For the second quarter, Wall Street analysts expected NXP to deliver earnings of $1.37 per share on roughly $1.5 billion in sales.

The Street's revenue view turned out to be right on target, but NXP beat the bottom-line estimate with adjusted earnings of $1.44 per diluted share. The earnings figure also exceeded NXP's own guidance for the quarter.

These results amount to 12% year-over-year growth in sales, powering a 32% boost to NXP's earnings. Besides delivering sales growth, the company also lowered its selling, general, and administrative expenses by 8.3%. As a result, adjusted net margins rose from 20.2% to 23.3%. Furthermore, the company has been busy buying back shares over the last year, retiring 2.8% of its outstanding shares.

NXP's wafer fabs reported 98% utilization in the second quarter, leaving very little manufacturing capacity unused. That's down from a near-perfect 99% in the first quarter, but also up from 95% in the year-ago period.

Year-over-year revenue growth was driven primarily by 39% higher sales of chips destined for secure connected devices, followed by a 29% boost for secure interfaces and power. For those in the know, these two divisions fit snugly in the Internet of Things megatrend, powering various parts of the connected devices all around you.

Automotive clients increased their orders by just 8%, and secure identification sales actually dropped 4% lower. Standard products -- NXP's preferred euphemism for low-growth legacy chips -- held steady as usual, reporting 2% higher sales.

NXP PN544 NFC controller chips

These NFC controllers play a vital role in removing plastic cards from your wallet. Image source: NXP.

Looking ahead, NXP set the midpoint of its third-quarter revenue guidance at $1.55 billion alongside an adjusted earnings target of $1.50 per diluted share. For that period, analysts currently expect earnings of $1.49 per share on $1.60 billion in sales, so NXP expects to beat one estimate but fall just short of the other.

The company declined to provide an update for its full-year revenue guidance, which thus remains in line with the present analyst view at $6.25 billion. NXP did deliver second-quarter sales almost exactly at the midpoint of its own guidance for this period, so the year is largely progressing as management had planned.

Management spent a large section of the earnings release on discussing the progress of its pending merger with Freescale Semiconductor (NYSE: FSL) and the related spinoff of radio signal amplifiers to Chinese equity firm JAC Capital.

Both transactions were said to be on target, with shareholder approvals and a number of regulatory reviews already in the books. Besides providing fresh capital to close the Freescale merger, the JAC deal was described as necessary to pass antitrust muster. RF power products accounts for 15% of Freescale's total sales, after all, so the companies had to eliminate that significant overlap.

"We are excited about creating a true industry leader focused on delivering differentiated product solutions, which we believe will create significant value for our customers and shareholders," said NXP CEO Richard Clemmer in a press statement.

All told, this was a solid quarter with a few shareholder-friendly bonus wrinkles. Management will hold a conference call with analysts early Thursday morning, which should provide additional detail on NXP's second quarter.

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