International Rectifier Earnings Call Nuggets: December Outlook and Target Model

International Rectifier (NYSE:IRF) recently reported its fourth quarter earnings and discussed the following topics in its earnings conference call.

December Outlook

Alex Gauna – JMP Securities: Congratulations on the progress getting back to profitability. Oleg, I know you mentioned you expected better seasonal results in the second half of the year. Can you kind of characterize, I know you are not guiding, but characterize what you would consider a normal December and maybe some color behind what you think might be better than normal seasonality in that quarter?

Oleg Khaykin – President and CEO: Well, thanks Alex. Well, there is a couple of things. You know when I look at all of this information, it’s a bit like reading tea leaves here, look at multiple data points and derive what the outlook might be. The first one I would say is if we look at our POS sales today, they are moving very briskly into the channel. Also, looking at some of our direct customers who are already playing for December, we do not detect any type of major slowdown activities as we saw last year at this time during the year. And also, we are not seeing a major de-booking that we observed at the same time of last year as the December quarter is being shaping up. So, taking into account that you have brisk POS sales, fairly lean channel inventories, no significant notice of decline in production planned for December, at least as far as we are seeing at this point in time, it leads us to believe that December quarter will be a lot healthier than we observed in the last three years. But also, on top of it I would add is because we are seeing so much caution in restocking inventory and we expect even inventories in the channel to decrease further by the end of the quarter. Just a fundamental healthier December quarter may result in a lot of expediting and last minute order placement in the September quarter.

Alex Gauna – JMP Securities: So, Oleg if I understand you correctly, the further inventory (leading us) in the channel that you would expect would get you to the point where you could benefit from expediting? Where are you with your internal inventory levels? Are they where you want them now or do those need to – are you expect them to come down a little further?

Oleg Khaykin – President and CEO: We are getting very close to levels where we would want them to be. I mean, given that – depending on the product your replacement cycle is anywhere between eight to 12 weeks and what we are seeing now is some of the products are already – we are noticing some of the products already seeing their lead times expanding as demand picks up. And one of the things we are is there is hesitancy on part of the channel to place the orders, and then once they get the order from their customers it’s a scramble, which lead us to believe – and also looking into the channel inventory there’s just not much (slack) available there…

Alex Gauna – JMP Securities: One more if I could. You mentioned some design wins to Broadwell now and also your optimism around Grantley. Do you get a sense that timetables are pulling in for Intel and potentially leading to some better share gain opportunity for you sooner or rather than later?

Oleg Khaykin – President and CEO: I do not know. But clearly if I would imagine what my peers at Intel are thinking, I mean, clearly, the sooner they can get those product to market, the better it is for them. So to the extent they can pull it in, it is going to be obviously good news for us. And even though there’s been a lot of talk – and you all know that PC market overall has been shrinking, clearly getting new products to the market – any Company (worth its own weight) is clearly trying to do their best to accelerate it to market – new products to market. But also, if you start with a fairly small base, and you win the business in the market that is shrinking but still a very big market, it’s still a very attractive place to be depending on your posture.

Target Model

Steve Smigie – Raymond James: Congratulations on the good numbers here and the really nice gross margin guidance. On that gross margin topic, I was hoping if you could talk a little bit about how we might think about that progression going forward? I mean, you have obviously utilization picked up I think into the 80s here you said. Does that go into 90s suggesting several 100 basis points more over the next few quarters, how should we think about that?

Oleg Khaykin – President and CEO: So, before September obviously we enjoy the benefit of the high utilization and the higher revenue. You need to take also into account the mix that we have in the extended model of the outsource manufacturing footprint, which will continue to benefit us as revenue continues to grow. If you look at the target model after the September quarter we get another five or six points to get to our target model which will continue to be part of the mix and utilization and revenue growth. I mean these are – these will continue to be the same factors that will get us to the target model…

Steve Smigie – Raymond James: Can you update us what revenue level you will be at, that’s what you consider to be your target gross margin I think it was $1.25 billion or something like that?

Oleg Khaykin – President and CEO: So it depends not only on the revenue it depends on the mix and it also depends on what would be the mix between the internal and external manufacturing. So, we don’t want here to guide on specific revenue that will get us to that level since it’s going to be – it can be a wider range of revenue.

Steve Smigie – Raymond James: On the operating expense you had $75 million you have guided in September I think you are committed to the same somewhere close to that level for a while. Can you update on what revenue you get before you have to start pushing the OpEx up above $75 million?

Ilan Daskal – CFO: So I think we said between $300 million and $350 million is kind of the level for which we are sized up and we feel we can keep our OpEx $75 million happen till that level and really what pushes it beyond that is mainly the commission will get bigger, so the number will go up slightly. But we feel we can keep that model cost about $1.2 billion – $1.25 billion run rate.

Oleg Khaykin – President and CEO: So we plan to hold the line at $75 million and we will include in that $75 million all the variable components that do changes almost as (spread) commissions, et cetera.

Ilan Daskal – CFO: Stock compensation…

Steve Smigie – Raymond James: If I can just get one last one in, with regard to the Singapore costs, you mentioned some costs there. Did that meaningfully impact whatever the gross margin ramp we seem to have started here or is that kind of part of the normal CapEx, maintenance CapEx?

Oleg Khaykin – President and CEO: Yes. Steve, this is all part of our guidance. It’s already baked in there and it’s also baked into our CapEx. What we are doing, as you know, we announced we are in the process of scaling down on our 6-inch fab in U.K. Our back end – back of the line operations, things like wafer thinning and things like that are in that location for us they are fully completed, we need to move it somewhere. But pricing in Singapore we put it centrally, logistically located, so all the wafers from our both internal and external fabs can go there to be – for final processing and then also it’s also in very close proximity to all of our assembly and test manufacturers. So that’s pretty much part of our ongoing plan of operations and all the costs and CapEx are baked in our gross margin and CapEx guidance for 2014.

Ilan Daskal – CFO: So but generally I can add to that Steve, that for the next three quarters we will have some startup costs in the range of $2 million to $3 million per quarter and then we project that it’s going to be fully operational.

A Closer Look: International Rectifier Earnings Cheat Sheet>>