QLogic Corporation CEO Presents At Morgan Stanley Technology, Media & Telecom Conference (Transcript)

QLogic Corporation ( QLGC)

Morgan Stanley Technology, Media & Telecom Conference

Feb 28, 2012 05:10 PM ET


Simon Biddiscombe - President and CEO

Jean Hu - CFO


Katy Huberty - Morgan Stanley

Scott Schmitz - Morgan Stanley


Katy Huberty - Morgan Stanley

Good afternoon. I'm Katy Huberty, Morgan Stanley's Technology Hardware Analyst and I'm very pleased to welcome Simon Biddiscombe, President and CEO and Jean Hu, CFO of QLogic. Scott Schmitz, who also works with me on all the storage names is also up on stage. Before we begin I just have to say that my personal holdings disclosure, the Morgan Stanley on the Morgan Stanley corporate website www.morganstanley.com\reseach disclosures. So that will come and thank you very much for your time.

Just to start, I want to talk about one of the recent announcements that you made to the best of the Infiniband assets. Can you talk about why you made that decision and what opportunities that makes to invest in other areas?

Simon Biddiscombe

Sure. So we started our investment in the Infiniband business back in the 2006 timeframe. We acquired both our host company and a switch company at that point in time and at point there was some expectation that Infiniband may have become a relevant data center network and technology that could potentially replace either fiber channel or Ethernet as a data center protocol of choice.

As time has passed that clearly hasn’t proven to be the case and the technology needs have evolved away from the core competencies that exist within QLogic and go to markets have evolved away from the core competencies that exist within QLogic. So if you go back to the infancy of the market, we were buying chips from Mellanox.

There were other participants in the market and it was expected that from a technology perspective we wouldn’t have to necessarily develop every chip ourselves and every system ourselves. We could rely on an ecosystem that would have partners who would leverage one another, clearly proved not to be the case over a number of years and the cost of investment became very high because of that and the market itself is somewhere riding $280 million in total. So it' been a very niche market in terms of size and QLogic's ability to participate in that niche has evolved away from the core competencies that we have.

So importantly as I look forward without the Infiniband business if I take December as an example, in December we posted 2% growth without the Infiniband that would have been 5% growth. If I look back over the last 11 quarters, in seven of the last 11 quarters we were a slower growing company because of Infiniband. If I look at the first nine months numbers, that was slower growing because of Infiniband so it's clearly had an impact on the growth of the company. It's had an impact on the gross margins. We'll be higher gross margin moving forward and that shows up in the guidance with higher operating margins moving forward and that shows up and we will obviously have a stronger balance sheet as a result of the cash infusion.

We continue to look at alternative ways to deploy the capital structure of the company and we've clearly over the course of 18 months now been talking about incremental opportunities that we perceive exist to invest organically in markets that are very adjacent to the markets the at QLogic serves today in high performance IO. So we will start talking about those in more detail as time passes but there is no doubt that the incremental ability to focus on the core data center networking capabilities that we are so familiar with to date and then the next set of adjacent opportunities is increased by the sale of the Infiniband business.

Katy Huberty - Morgan Stanley

A potential adjacency, the target I/O opportunity that's been talked about recently, at some point we have to exit that market. Can you talk about exactly what that technology or what that market is, how big the opportunity is that you are going after?

Simon Biddiscombe

It's probably one of the more profound changes that exist for ourselves and frankly for Emulex as the other participant in the traditional fiber channel market. So over a course of many, many years, north of a decade at this point in time, if you think about the front end of any storage array, the front end that looks back towards the network and ultimately back towards the server, that has been a market that was dominated by PMC Sierra and it actually goes back to an acquisition that PMC did many, many years ago.

They chose to stop investing in that technology at 8 gig and as it moves to 16 gig for fiber channel that's opened up that entire set of opportunities for both ourselves and the nearest traditional competitor and that market is somewhere between a $100 million and $120 million on an annual basis. I think we've done a very good job carving more than fair share of that market because the technology that we bring to the market is the only four protocol chip that’s available. So wither I sell it in the form of a chip or an adaptor to those customers, the fact that I can deliver you fiber channel, FCoE, iSCSI and Ethernet all on one chip is very attractive to the target guys because it essentially means they can deploy that array in any networked environment.

Read the rest of this transcript for free on seekingalpha.com