ARM Holdings plc (ARMH)

Q3 2011 Earnings Call

October 25, 2011 3:30 am ET


Warren East - Chief Executive Officer, Director and Member of Disclosure Committee

Tim Score - Chief Financial Officer, Director, Member of Compliance Committee, Member of Disclosure Committee and Member of Risk Review Committee

Ian Thornton - VP of IR


Francois Meunier - Morgan Stanley, Research Division

Janardan Menon - Liberum Capital Limited, Research Division

Gareth Jenkins - UBS Investment Bank, Research Division

Didier Scemama - RBS Research

Sumant Wahi - Redburn Partners LLP, Research Division

Andrew M. Gardiner - Barclays Capital, Research Division

Simon F. Schafer - Goldman Sachs Group Inc., Research Division

Nick James - Numis Securities Ltd., Research Division

Sandeep Deshpande - JP Morgan Chase & Co, Research Division

Unknown Analyst -

Johannes Schaller - Deutsche Bank AG, Research Division



Thank you for standing by, and welcome to the Q3 results conference call. [Operator Instructions] I would now like to hand the conference over to your speaker today, Ian Thornton. Please go ahead, sir.

Ian Thornton

Thank you, Nick. Good morning, everybody. This is Ian Thornton, VP of Investor Relations at ARM. On today's Q3 results conference call, we have Warren East, Chief Executive Officer; and Tim Score, Chief Financial Officer. On today's call, Warren and Tim will take us through the highlights and comments from the quarter's results and then we'll open the call up to a Q&A session. As a reminder, the presentation and press release can be found on the ARM Investor Relations website at

Before I hand over to them, I just have to read a few words with respect to this conference call and what we are about to discuss. The contents of this conference call are being directed only to those of you who have professional experience in matters relating to investment, and the information communicated on this call is being made available only to investment professionals. Any person who's present on this call who does not have professional experience in matters relating to investment should not act or rely on the content of this call.

The following conference call will contain forward-looking statements, which are other than statements of historical facts. The company's actual results for future periods may differ materially from these statements as they are based on current expectations and are subject to a number of risks and uncertainties. And on this note, I'll hand over to Warren.

Warren East

Good morning, everyone, and thank you for joining our call this morning. So I'm going to run through the business highlights and then hand over to Tim, who will provide some more detail on the financial implications. But as usual, we expect that much of the content will be covered in the question and answers.

Quick overview. We reported our first half results 3 months ago, and when we did that, we highlighted the increased level of design activity, with our customers developing even more of their chips based on ARM technology. And good news is that, that level of design activity has continued, even though semiconductor sales have been lower over the summer than some industry analysts had expected earlier in the year.

We entered the third quarter with a healthy order backlog at historically high levels, and we had ongoing market share gains in long-term structural growth markets. During the third quarter, we continued to outperform the semiconductor industry with good strong year-on-year growth in licensing and royalties against an industry that is broadly flat year-on-year. And we benefited from the sales of smart consumer products and lots of low-power embedded electronics. And the demand for these products is really what's driven licensing, with 28 processor licenses sold in the quarter and royalties with shipments of ARM products growing year-on-year by 25%. And that's resulted in revenue growth, and that's enabled us to continue to invest further in R&D; at the same time, is growing earnings by 47% year-on-year and delivering good levels of cash generation.

So we're going into the final quarter of 2011 with a the strong order backlog. Semiconductor companies are looking to develop more of their products around ARM technology, and this combination points to another strong quarter for license revenue on Q4 royalty revenues generated from Q3 shipments from our semiconductor partners. And data for the third quarter indicates that relevant industry revenues were broadly flat sequentially.

Now I'll just discuss the drivers of the revenue in the different parts of the business in a bit more detail. We'll start with processors. We signed 28 licenses in the quarter. It was a very broad-range events market, including deeply embedded designs for powertrain and automotive, sensors, smartcards and microcontrollers. It also included some consumer electronics products design wins in things like digital TVs, mobile phones and mobile computers.

14 of the 28 licenses were bought by new customers, and most of these new customers were actually established semiconductor companies who are now building their first ARM-based chip. And this is the highest number of new customers that we've yet seen in the quarter. And as the trend towards smarter products continues and gains pace, so semiconductor companies are binding on technology quite instrumental in helping them gain a share in increasingly competitive marketplaces.

24 of the licenses were signed for the Cortex family of processors. We sold 9 Cortex-A licenses, mainly for smartphones, digital TVs, mobile computers and some embedded computers; 14 licenses for Cortex-M processors into microcontrollers and smartcards, and this included another lead licensee for the next generation of ARM processors, the microcontrollers, and I expect that we'll be announcing that product next year.

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