Analog Devices Earnings Call Insights: Guidance Details and Foundry Revenues

Analog Devices Inc (NYSE:ADI) recently reported its third quarter earnings and discussed the following topics in its earnings conference call.

Guidance Details

Steve Smigie – Raymond James & Associates: As we look out to the guidance, it looks like you’re guiding, a little bit better than seasonal. The guide seems to be a little bit lower than the Street. So, I’m just curious if you could frame the guidance here in terms of, do you see the guidance as being positive, because you’re ahead of seasonal or was there some surprise maybe on the short – on the softer side that made you guide less than the Street here?

David A. Zinsner – VP, Finance and CFO: So, I think we’re guiding generally kind of seasonal as you look around. I mean, it’s hard to – the problem is the cycles overshadow anything that happened, the seasonal side of things. So, and for the most part, as we kind of read through the tea leaves, this is generally what we would expect in terms of seasonality. I would say that one area that we do typically see a little bit of a seasonal ramp in is the consumer business, and just because of the way the product cycles are now flowing, it looks like it’s going to be less about seasonality and more about product cycles than we think the upward momentum on the product cycle’s going to probably happen in 2014. What the Street comes up with is their own predictions of what’s going to happen. We feel pretty good about the guidance. The industrial business has shown some momentum and good results in the second quarter. It continued to grow in the third quarter, albeit a little bit weighted down by the defense business, but other than that, all their other businesses were doing really well and it looks like it’s going to be up again in the fourth quarter. So we think that that’s a good sign for, kind of a slow, methodical, kind of recovery in our broader business. We also expect automotive to come back. It was a little bit down this quarter after a really big second quarter coming back again in the third quarter, that seems to be positive. And then the CIFR business probably was the one that surprised us the most this quarter on the good side, because we do start to – we are starting to see some spending by the carriers to build out their networks and that looks like it’s going to continue into the fourth quarter and we haven’t even really seen the ramp from some of these deployments for 4G in China that are on the comm. So, this is I think a pretty good guide for the fourth quarter and sets us up pretty nicely for next year. And as I talked about on my prepared remarks, as we start to see this recovery we will start to see utilization come back in our factories that’s going to be good on the gross margin side, and we are doing a good job I think company-wide in controlling expenses and making sure those expenses don’t grow at a rate that’s align with what we want to do in terms of leverage. So, everything seems pretty good.

Steve Smigie – Raymond James & Associates: And just as my follow-up on your point about gross margin as you said, your gross margin up your utilization improved it seems like there is a lot of room for utilization to fill up still. How should we think about the gross margin opportunity relative to last cycle, so you said that you expect to have a higher gross margin this cycle than in the past, what’s the magnitude of that difference at this point do you think?

David A. Zinsner – VP, Finance and CFO: Well, obviously it depends on how the revenue behaves over the course of the next several quarters, but our utilization right now is at about – I think we ran around 65%, we will tweak it up into the high 60s next quarter, ultimately when the engine is really moving along our utilization gets up into the 80s. So, from a move from into the 60s to a move into the 80s in terms of utilization that generally drives a couple of hundred basis points of improvement right there in gross margins. Mix usually goes in our favor as well. So, I think – it’s hard to call the exact gross margin number because it’s somewhat dependent on what quarter we’re talking about and where the mix is and what have you, but I feel pretty good about the fact that we’re going to get into the range of where we were before and we have good opportunity to do a bit better than that.

Foundry Revenues

David Wong – Wells Fargo Securities: What proportion of revenues today come from products made in foundries, and do you have a target for the range in which you expect external manufacturing to run?

David A. Zinsner – VP, Finance and CFO: So, the external right now is running in kind of the low-50s as a percent of our total revenue. I wouldn’t say that we have a particular target. It has been in kind of that zip code for probably – since I started here, which was in 2009. So, we have kind of a balanced approach. We have this big broad industrial business. A good portion of that is manufactured internally, and we continue to make investments in those areas. So, my expectation is that will grow in line with the top line growth. And so, I think you’d expect that the percentage of external versus internal is roughly going to remain pretty similar to where we are today.

David Wong – Wells Fargo Securities: Are you seeing any signs of pricing firming as demand improves?

David A. Zinsner – VP, Finance and CFO: No, the analog market is one of those markets where we never really see the price being unfirm, if we can coin a phrase. So, it’s pretty stable and it’s been pretty stable through this entire cycle. So, could it get better? I guess it could get better. But it’s actually in a pretty good shape today.

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