SAN FRANCISCO—Several analysts downgraded Marvell Technology Group Ltd.'s stock Friday (Oct. 19) after the chip firm cut its third quarter sales outlook and announced the departure of its chief financial officer.
Marvell (Santa Clara, Calif.) is the latest chip vendor to announce lower than expected quarterly sales amid macroeconomic sluggishness and weak PC demand. Marvell has heavy exposure to the PC market as a leading supplier of chips for hard disk drives (HDDs).
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Marvell said it now expects net revenue for its fiscal third quarter, which closes Oct. 27, to be between $765 million and $785 million, down from a previous forecast of $800 million to $850 million. The midpoint of the new sales target would represent a decline of 5 percent compared to the previous quarter and 18 percent compared with the year ago quarter.
"The continued slowdown in the global economy during the third quarter is resulting in a weaker PC market than previously anticipated and thus lower demand from our storage HDD customers," Sehat Sutardja, Marvell's chairman and CEO, said in a statement.
Sutardja said Marvell's revenue from the solid-state drive, networking and mobile markets are tracking in line with prior expectations. But he added that business visibility remains low headed into the fourth quarter, which is traditionally softer.
Craig Berger, an analyst with FBR Capital Markets, said in a report circulated Friday that he believes HDD shipments will fall by more than 10 percent in the third quarter and fall again in the fourth quarter. Berger also cited an expected poor reception to Microsoft's Windows 8 operating system in coming months.
"Clearly weak global demand, the Win8 production/purchasing 'air pocket,' and smartphone tablet cannibalization are affecting PC shipments, with any 2013 recovery seeming of questionable magnitude for now," Berger wrote. He said 40 to 45 percent of Marvell's business is exposed to the PC market.
Due to the influence of mobile devices such as smartphone and tablet PC, many related industries achieve growth, then what's the development end of mobile devices, just as PC comes to post-PC era? Is there also a post-smartphone ear?
The CEO make take Marvell private if Wall Street continues to badger him. Marvell has no debt and has a good cash flow. Most tech companies have management issues with risk adverse executives simply trying to do the same type of product development year after year. The bean counters in many companies have taken away the ability to innovate much. For example, just look at HP management. I think some of the suffering at Marvell has to do with RIMM going down the toilet by failing to offer a sleek solution to take a bite out of Apple. And the hard drive business also is in a rough patch at the moment since people want cell phones and possibly tablets. I think tablets are somewhat of a technology fad and just an alternative way of displaying a notebook computer.
David Patterson, known for his pioneering research that led to RAID, clusters and more, is part of a team at UC Berkeley that recently made its RISC-V processor architecture an open source hardware offering. We talk with Patterson and one of his colleagues behind the effort about the opportunities they see, what new kinds of designs they hope to enable and what it means for today’s commercial processor giants such as Intel, ARM and Imagination Technologies.