Electronics news digest

16 May 2012 News

South Africa

For the financial year ended 29 February, Altech recorded revenue of R9,97 billion, up 3,3% from last year, while EBITDA was down 16% from R1,07 billion in 2011 to R919 million in 2012. The company declared a dividend of 248 cents per share, which was down from the 356 cents declared in the previous period.



RF Micro Devices reported financial results for its fiscal 2012 fourth quarter, ended 31 March 31. Revenue was $187,9 million, a decrease of approximately 16,6% sequentially. GAAP net loss was $13,0 million, or $0,05 per diluted share. The company’s sales of 3G/4G components grew 160% year-over-year and represent more than two thirds of quarterly cellular revenue.

Revenue for IDT’s fiscal fourth quarter of 2012 was $119,1 million, compared with $144,7 million reported in the same period one year ago. Revenue for fiscal year 2012 was $526,7 million, compared with $605,4 million in fiscal year 2011.

GAAP net income from continuing operations for the fiscal fourth quarter of 2012 was $17,4 million, or $0,12 per diluted share, versus $39,7 million or $0,26 per diluted share in the same period one year ago.

Xilinx announced fourth quarter fiscal 2012 sales of $559,0 million, up 9% sequentially and down 5% from the fourth quarter of the prior fiscal year. Fourth quarter fiscal 2012 net income was $134,1 million, or $0,49 per diluted share. Fiscal 2012 sales were $2,24 billion, down 5% from the prior fiscal year. Fiscal 2012 net income decreased 16% to $541,8 million, or $1,99 per diluted share, versus fiscal 2011 net income of $641,9 million or $2,39 per diluted share.

Cadence Design Systems announced results for the first quarter of fiscal year 2012. The company reported revenue of $316 million, compared to $266 million reported for the same period in 2011. On a GAAP basis, Cadence recognised net income of $31 million, or $0,11 per share on a diluted basis in the first quarter of 2012, compared to net income of $6 million, or $0,02 per share on a diluted basis in the same period in 2011.

Announcing its unaudited financial results for the first quarter ended 31 March, ARM Holdings reported revenue of £132,5 million, an improvement on last year’s first quarter figure of £116 million. Earnings per share also improved over last year, from 1,57 pence to 2,71 pence. The company declared that 1,1 billion ARM chips shipped into mobile phones and mobile computers, similar to a year ago, while 0,8 billion chips shipped into consumer and embedded digital devices, up 15% year-on-year.

ST-Ericsson experienced declining sales and ballooning losses in its first 2012 fiscal quarter. Sales dropped to $290 million (down from $409 million in the fourth quarter of 2011 and $444 million in the first quarter of 2011) primarily due to lower sales to Nokia. Net loss amounted to $312 million in the latest quarter, compared to $231 in the fourth quarter of 2011 and $178 million in the first quarter of 2011. The troubled company also announced the transfer of its standalone application processor activities to STMicroelectronics, as well as a trimming of its global workforce by some 1700 employees.

Texas Instruments announced first-quarter 2012 revenue of $3,12 billion, net income of $265 million and earnings per share (EPS) of 22 cents. EPS includes 10 cents of charges associated with the company’s acquisition of National Semiconductor and restructuring. These figures compare with fourth-quarter 2011 revenue of $3,42 billion, net income of $298 million and EPS of 25 cents, and first-quarter 2011 revenue of $3,39 billion, net income of $666 million and EPS of 55 cents. The company said its inventory rose to $1,85 billion in the latest quarter, up $56 million compared to the prior quarter and up $175 million from a year ago.

Altera announced first quarter sales of $383,8 million, down 16% from the fourth quarter of 2011 and down 28% from the first quarter of 2011. First quarter net income was $115,8 million ($0,35 per diluted share) compared with net income of $146,6 million ($0,45 per diluted share) in the fourth quarter of 2011 and $224,1 million ($0,68 per diluted share) in the first quarter of 2011. The company’s board of directors declared a quarterly cash dividend of $0,08 per share.

Freescale Semiconductor announced financial results for the first quarter ended 30 March. Net sales were $950 million, compared to $1,01 billion in the fourth quarter of 2011 and $1,19 billion in the first quarter of last year. Net loss for the first quarter of 2012 was $9 million, or $0,04 per share, compared to a loss of $6 million, or $0,02 per share, in the fourth quarter of 2011 and a loss of $148 million, or $0,75 per share, in the first quarter last year.


Microchip Technology announced the acquisition of Roving Networks, an innovator in low-power embedded Wi-Fi and Bluetooth solutions based in California. The terms of the deal are confidential, and the transaction is expected to be immediately accretive on a non-GAAP basis.

u-blox has acquired 4M Wireless, a company which designs and develops software and test solutions for developing fourth generation (4G) mobile wireless devices based on the latest long-term evolution (LTE) standards. The buying price was approximately $9 million, depending on earn-out.

IDT announced that it has acquired Fox Electronics, a global supplier of frequency control products, in an all-cash transaction for approximately $30 million, of which $26 million was paid at closing. Fox Electronics’ revenue was approximately $23 million in calendar year 2011, and the company is profitable. IDT has also signed a definitive agreement to acquire PLX, in order to broaden its range of solutions for data centre interconnects in cloud computing. Under the terms of the agreement, PLX stockholders will receive $3,50 in cash and 0,525 shares of IDT common stock for each PLX common share outstanding. Based on IDT’s closing stock price on 27 April 2012, the transaction is valued at approximately $7,00 per PLX share and results in a total transaction value of approximately $330 million.

Fairchild Semiconductor has filed new patent infringement claims against Power Integrations’ LinkSwitch-PH LED power conversion products. The new lawsuit follows a recent jury verdict finding that PI’s LinkSwitch-II and LinkSwitch-CV products infringe Fairchild patent claims. In the earlier case, the jury also found that Fairchild infringed two PI patents. Fairchild products found to infringe include certain PWM controller products. Fairchild is now asserting three new patents that extend the company’s primary side regulation technology, already found infringed by PI, to LED power conversion technology.


Energy efficient lighting is becoming increasingly important as an immediate solution to rising electricity consumption, with the increasing compatibility of compact fluorescent lamps (CFL) with existing lighting infrastructure spurring sales, according to a new report by business intelligence company GlobalData. The global CFL market size increased from $6,82 billion in 2006 to $9,44 billion in 2010 at a CAGR of 8,4%. Revenue from CFL sales is expected to increase by about 4% over the next 10 years to reach approximately $14 billion by the end of 2020.

The market for RFID transponders, readers, software and services will generate $70,5 billion from 2012 to the end of 2017, according to ABI Research. The market was boosted by a growth of $900 million in 2011 and is expected to grow 20% year-on-year per annum. Government, retail, and transportation and logistics have been identified as the most valuable sectors, accounting for 60% of accumulated revenue over the next five years.


Texas Instruments unveiled the industry’s first implementation of the real-time HD JPEG 2000 codec on a multicore digital signal processor (DSP). Four TI TMS320C6678 multicore DSPs with JPEG 2000 codecs are available on TI’s design network member, Advantech’s, new DSPC-8681E half-length PCI express card, making it ideal for processing intensive, power efficient applications in industries such as broadcast and digital cinema. JPEG 2000 is an image compression codec offering significant flexibility and performance increases over previous versions.

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