Avago Technologies Ltd Earnings Call Insights: Wireless Side and Seasonality

Avago Technologies Ltd (NASDAQ:AVGO) recently reported its third quarter earnings and discussed the following topics in its earnings conference call.

Wireless Side

James Schneider – Goldman Sachs: I was wondering if you could start on the Wireless side for a moment. Can you talk about the trends you are seeing right now your second biggest smartphone customer and whether the well-publicized inventory correction that that customer is essentially behind you at this point? And then related to that, looking ahead of the smartphone launches you have across your customer set in the next quarter. Can you talk about any trends you are seeing with respect to more discrete FBAR sales for you guys versus PADs?

Hock E. Tan – President and CEO: Well, lots of questions here. Let me try to parse that and go one-by-one. Let’s talk about market trends short-term Q4 in specific to the rest of the year. While we do see is other than our two largest smartphone OEM customers in the high-end phone range especially, we see a few other (ultraphone) OEMs launching new phone programs. You have seen that especially on we see about Optimus, we see Nexus coming out and we see a few other Lumias coming out around that later in the year. But, obviously, the two biggest high-end phone makers are making the news and we see both programs launching this particular quarter definitely from – in the second half of this particular quarter and right now as we perceive it inventory is lease of our problems in that regard of excess inventory. We are ramping up very, very strongly to try to meet demand. Very, very strongly and very, very urgently just to meet demand of those several smartphone OEMs that we have to support at this stage. That’s pretty much what I would limit my discussion to as to say it’s – a lot of the bookings, a lot of the backlog is in place. And what we are trying to do is really an interesting challenge to our supply chain (to meet it all), but we will get there. Then as far as the second part of your questions on mix in a short-term that’s – both happening, there are quite a few satellites and discrete FBARs, satellite PAs and discrete FBARs that happens. We also obviously see from our perspective quite a bit of head architectures that are also happening. And it varies obviously from OEM to OEM and the best way to answer is we see both, we’re seeing both as we see right now. Obviously, increase FBAR architecture comes from increased LTE bands that are now put into a lot of this high-end smartphones, which needed to be supported and they are – not some of them – many of them are not supported as PAs, but rather supported on a discrete basis. So, we see quite a considerable mix of both in this next six months. I guess the best way to describe it.

James Schneider – Goldman Sachs: Then to follow-up on the industrial business. Clearly, there your results had been lagging a lot of your peers for a while, but now have caught up and (then some) it seems like. So, can you maybe talk about the channel behavior or specifically, the distributors what you are seeing from them, is it a matter of their inventories got too low, and they needed to replenish somewhat or they just feel better about overall demand? So, do you feel like you are more or less shipping in line with any consumption at this point?

Hock E. Tan – President and CEO: Obviously, we are not trying to be (indiscernible) consumption, definitely consumption is bit tricky, but I’ll tell you what we see in China. In China, a lot of customers are not huge. Their management of supply chain is extremely short-term. What we have always seen in China and continues that way is when they perceive end markets to be not as strong you are bit first that our Chinese customers in industrial will be the first to disappear from the demand horizon. And when things turnaround they are always the first to show up and it tend to probably replenish in the destock inventory level very quickly. And I believe that a big part of what we are seeing in Q3 was exactly what happened. A lot of small OEMs, mid-sized OEMs in China came in and bought pretty heavy. And our China biz revenue – industrial business in China grew double digits – strong double digits, I should say, as they did in Japan. And yeah Japan is different in the sense there was a lot of exports in Japan perhaps helped by the yen, also helped by lumpy business related to machine tool and automation investment for handset makers in China. So, we see a combination of that influence. As far as channel inventory is concerned – keep in mind, for last two quarters we have been destocking our channel inventory. So, what happened last quarter also with – especially, Chinese customer jumping in and replenishing their stock, our channel inventory also went up. Overall, our total channel inventory went up about less than mid-single digits overall. So, while it did go up it is in a limited basis. So, most of the OEMs took on (indiscernible).

Seasonality

Ross Seymore – Deutsche Bank: Hock, again starting on the Wireless side, first part of the question looking little bit backwards, and then the second part looking forward. Can you just talk through what you saw happened in the July quarter as that was the growth about 3% — was about 5 points less than you expected. And if we look forward beyond the October quarter, just for an idea of how you view seasonality in your Wireless business?

Hock E. Tan – President and CEO: Seasonality as it used to in past years, seems to have largely not totally, but largely disappeared. Frankly, disappeared because the timing of phone launches at least in the markets where we addressed seems to have overridden that seasonal trends. So, it is more the timing of – and especially the timing of large phone OEM makers. In this particular case, I’ll start with Q4, what we are seeing here is with – our strength here is seeing by two of our largest customers in Wireless are launching their next-generation phone platforms almost at the same time, very interesting. So, we are seeing basically revenue aggregating, I guess, in one quarter, probably another quarter beyond that, but I’m not making a forecast here, but it seems it will probably run over effect of this quarter and you’ll probably rollover through the quarter after that, but in a very, very strong manner. Now, they are not the only guys who because we seem to see some other phone OEM makers were also launching new phone platforms, somewhere over the next – current September, October, November timeframe also, especially September, October timeframe. So, everybody seems to rush in and maybe that also affect the seasonality for Christmas. I just happened to think that maybe larger part of it is, it chose to do it all at the same time by coincidence or maybe not so coincident. And that’s what happening this quarter. Meanwhile, back to last quarter, last quarter was obviously a different interest because there wasn’t any particular large phone launches that we see for ourselves that would benefit us last quarter. It was more broad based sustainability of smartphone OEM customers coming in for demand. And it was pretty nice too because it’s still enable us to grow 3%, maybe less than what we had expected, but all things considered wasn’t too bad from our perspective. But it was more a variety of the other phone – multiple phone makers, all sustaining and in some cases launching new programs that kept our revenue and sustained our Wireless revenue last quarter. This particular quarter is an unusual impact of two big guys and several other small guys, launching new phone programs…

Ross Seymore – Deutsche Bank: I guess as my follow-up. On the Wired side of things, if you take the CyOptics out of it for answering this part of the question, it seems like you grew about 17%, 18% organically quarter-over-quarter in July and you’re implying guidance of 4% or 5% in the October quarter, can you just talk through what drove the big upside, and then why the slow down a little bit from a sequential perspective, is it inventory, did you fill the channel or whatever the case maybe?

Hock E. Tan – President and CEO: Excluding CyOptics, most of our Wired Infrastructure business do not go through distribution by the way. Most of it goes right direct to large OEM customers and on the lights of Cisco, among others, and Juniper and various others. While I mean, we saw pretty decent growth in Q3 – in fact, very good growth in Q3, especially on ASIC side we probably expect to see a bit of a pause as is typical and we are going by that. Having said that, on the fiber side, we are continuing to see a lot of strengths, especially now with the return of call routing this particular Q4 quarter. So, yeah, when we weigh this two things together which is basically relative slowdown after very robust Q3 for ASIC, but it is continuing strength in fiber and that hasn’t slowed down in our view from Q3. We probably do not expect the 18% sequential growth in Q3 to be able to sustain in Q4, but it has nothing to do with any fundamental trends in the end market. The fundamental trend is then to data center spending is continues to sustain and be strong and the conversion in this data center spending the roll out of data centers, not just in America, in China as well is driving a lot of demand for 40G optical transceivers, as well as the switches and routing – switches, especially data center switches that (goes to repeat) that would drive our ASIC business. So, that’s still there, and that’s the trend from Q3 to Q4 unchanged and what is now thrown into the Q4 makes this call routing. But offsetting that is we do – offsetting that as we do not expect ASIC demand shipments to be as strong in Q4 as it has been in Q3.

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