The last day has brought good earnings reports from a pair of companies that supply a fair amount of components for wireless. Is this a sign that wireless is about to pick up?
, which reported yesterday after the market's close and
, which reported today, do considerable business making components for mobile handsets, among other things. And both posted better-than-expected results, though Vishay's numbers had been revised lower in December. TriQuint's earnings per share beat
First Call/Thomson Financial
estimates by 3 cents. Vishay beat revised estimates of 97 cents per share by 4 cents.
In both cases, however, indications are that the wireless business remains dicey. At Vishay's call today, company officials said they expect that higher inventories of cell phone components won't be worked through for at least another quarter.
While TriQuint's report was strong, the company did not raise estimates, something it had done for the past eight quarters, noted
Credit Suisse First Boston
analyst Michael Masdea.
"It's really hard for anybody to have an inventory outlook together right now," Masdea said.
Wireless semi manufacturers were among the first in the sector to warn of impending inventory overloads, Masdea said. Bullish growth forecasts meant some of the wireless semi makers didn't back off on capacity until way too late. And many of the original equipment manufacturers did likewise. "Hopefully we learned a little bit of a lesson from that," Masdea said. Masdea rates TriQuint a hold and his firm has done no underwriting for it.
Vishay and TriQuint may have some insulation from the wireless market because of product lines that stretch beyond handsets. Vishay officials, for example, noted that the component market for cars remained strong. TriQuint, which counts cell phone makers
as its top two customers, has optical networker
as the third.
After a rocky December, Vishay is up 35% since the beginning of January. In recent trading, it was higher after its earnings call this morning, up $1.02, or 5.3%, to $20.42.
TriQuint, is down 8.6% since the beginning of January. But, like Vishay, it was higher after its earnings report. In recent trading the company was up $3.13, or 9.6%, to $35.63.
Other companies with strong exposure to the wireless market have seen a dip in the last month.
, while up 1.8% in trading today, has lost 10.8% since the beginning of January. And
RF Micro Devices
, which makes mobile phone components, has lost 28.4% since the beginning of January, although it was trading nearly 6% higher today.