SAN JOSE, Calif. - Amid problems with its foundry ramp with IBM Corp., Ramtron International Corp., a supplier of nonvolatile ferroelectric random access memory (FRAM), on Tuesday (Feb. 22) reported total revenue of $16.1 million for the fourth quarter of 2010, compared with total revenue of $14.4 million for the same quarter last year.
Net income for the fourth quarter of 2010 was $471,000, or $0.02 per share, compared with net income of $755,000, or $0.03 per share, for the fourth quarter of 2009. Fourth-quarter 2010 results included a non-cash stock-based compensation expense of $420,000, and an income tax provision of $230,000.
For full-year 2010, Ramtron reported total revenue of $70.2 million, compared with total revenue of $47.5 million for full-year 2009. Full-year 2010 net income was $1.6 million, or $0.06 per share, compared with net loss of $5.8 million, or minus $0.22 per share, for full-year 2009.
For the first six months of 2011, management currently anticipates revenue of approximately $25 million. GAAP net loss is expected to be approximately $0.05 per share for the first six months of 2011.
For full-year 2011, management currently anticipates revenue between $65 and $70 million. GAAP net income is expected to be approximately $0.10 per share for the full-year 2011.
“Strong demand during the fourth quarter combined with a delay in bringing up low-density replacement products at our new foundry exacerbated the supply constraints that materialized in the third quarter,” said Ramtron CEO, Eric Balzer, in a statement.
“As a result, our revenue declined from the third quarter. To ease these supply constraints, we have increased the number of products that we are manufacturing at our established foundry. These products are now shipping in modest volume as we work with our established foundry to increase wafer production to meet demand,” he said.
''We anticipate that our wafer capacity will catch up with demand beginning in the second half of the year,” Balzer continued. “For 2011, our production plans and revenue targets are based only on the capabilities of our established foundry as we continue to work to bring up our newest manufacturing line.”
The outlook is weak. “The first quarter of 2011 will be very challenging in light of the supply constraints we are facing. Throughout 2011, we anticipate a sequential improvement in our product supply and product revenue on a quarterly basis. As we increase our production levels over the next two quarters, we anticipate significantly higher revenue during the second half of the year,” Balzer said.
It's been a topsy-turvey time for Ramtron. Last month, the company accepted the resignation of Ramtron CEO Bill Staunton. Balzer, Ramtron’s current CFO and a member of the company’s board, was named CEO. Balzer will retain the title and responsibilities of CFO until a replacement is named.
And as reported, IBM appears to be struggling with its foundry ramp for Ramtron. In 2009, Ramtron entered into a foundry services agreement with IBM. The companies planned to install Ramtron’s FRAM semiconductor process technology in IBM's Burlington, Vermont, advanced wafer manufacturing facility.
At that time, Ramtron expected to generate first production wafers during 2010 on the IBM 0.18-micron wafer manufacturing process. IBM will become Ramtron’s second foundry supplier for its FRAM semiconductor products, along with Texas Instruments.
To date, IBM has failed to deliver. In the meantime, TI is picking up the foundry slack for Ramtron. IBM was supposed to make products on a foundry basis for Ramtron by the end of 2010. IBM is ramping up a ''FRAM on a CMOS process.''
At present, IBM has made engineerings samples for Ramtron. ''We've sent out (those products) for packaging,'' according to a Ramtron spokesman. IBM is ''close'' to ramping up products for Ramtron, ''but (IBM) is not there yet,'' he said.