Judging by the second-quarter results, Dutch conglomerate Philips Electronics
Overall sales were down 3% on an as-reported basis, though up 1% when the effects of currency are stripped out. Medical systems and lighting were the stars of the quarter -- if you call 6% and 4% revenue growth star caliber. The appliance business was more or less stagnant, while consumer electronics dropped slightly and semiconductor segment revenue was down 6%.
Operating margins dropped rather precipitously, and operating income declined by almost 59% for the quarter. Leading the way was an 80% decline in operating income from semiconductors that completely swamped improvements in medical systems and consumer electronics.
As investors might already assume, contributions from the company's LG.Philips LCD
Management wasn't exactly effusive in its optimism about the future. Although the medical business continues to look strong, the company is worried about overstocking in the appliance business, weak consumer electronics demand in Europe, weak lighting demand in North America, and weak demand, well, everywhere for the semiconductor business.
I suppose it's not all bad news, though. As mentioned, the medical business looks pretty strong and is gaining share. In the lighting division, the company continues to make progress with organic light-emitting diodes (OLEDs), and that business holds some promise for the future. And even in poor-performing areas such as semiconductors, the company is still profitable even though the industry has not really bounced back yet.
Assuming that Philips can get its growth back on track in the next year or so, the valuations today look somewhat reasonable. That said, this stock has often traded at a discount to the likes of General Electric
Fool contributor Stephen Simpson has no financial interest in any stocks mentioned (that means he's neither long nor short the shares).