ARM Holdings' CEO Discusses Q1 2012 Results - Earnings Call Transcript

ARM Holdings (ARMH)

Q1 2012 Earnings Call

April 24, 2012 3:30 am ET


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

Ian Thornton - Vice President of Investor Relations

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


Vivek Arya - BofA Merrill Lynch, Research Division

Sandeep Deshpande - JP Morgan Chase & Co, Research Division

Gunnar Plagge - Citigroup Inc, Research Division

Francois Meunier - Morgan Stanley, Research Division

Gareth Jenkins - UBS Investment Bank, 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

Janardan Menon - Liberum Capital Limited, Research Division

Paul Gilmer Morland - Peel Hunt LLP, Research Division

Johannes Schaller - Deutsche Bank AG, Research Division

Lee J. Simpson - Jefferies & Company, Inc., Research Division

Martin O'Sullivan - Cenkos Securities plc., Research Division


D. Warren A. East

Ladies and gentlemen, thank you for standing by, and welcome to the Q1 Analyst Conference Call. [Operator Instructions] I must advise you the conference is recorded today, on Tuesday, the 24th of April 2012. And I would now like to hand over to your first speaker today, Mr. Ian Thorton. Please go ahead, sir.

Ian Thornton

Thank you very much indeed. Good morning, everybody. This is Ian Thornton, the Head of Investor Relation at ARM. On today's Q1 Results Conference Call, we have, with me, Warren East, Chief Executive Officer and Tim Score, our Chief Financial Officer. On today's call, Tim and Warren will take us through the highlights and comments from the quarter's results, and then we'll open up the call to a Q&A session. As a reminder, the presentation and 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 investments, and the information communicated on this call is been made available only to investment professionals. Any persons present on this call who do not have professional experience in matters related to investment should not act or rely on the contents of this call. The following conference call will contain forward-looking statements, other than statements of historical facts The company's actual results in future bids may materially from these statements, as they are based on current expectations and are subject to a number risks and uncertainties.

And on this note, I'll hand over to Warren.

D. Warren A. East

Thank you, Ian. Good morning everybody, and thank you for joining our call. I will start with some context, then go into business highlights and hand over to Tim, and as usual, I hope we'll cover most of the content in Q&A.

So to some context. 2011 was an excellent year for ARM, and we're pleased that this morning, we can report that the first quarter of 2012 has shown our momentum continuing and indeed, we have some further healthy indicators that are underpinning the long-term growth opportunity for our business. We came into the year with a record backlog with several innovative new products in development, which will enable our customers to enter new markets and a strong competitive position in our target market. And we're continuing to see an increase in the demand for our smarter low -- lower-powered technology, in particularly, all aspects of people's lives become enhanced with the digital products that results from that. And that's driving both our licensing and our royalty revenues. And in the first quarter of the year, we saw demand for our technology driven by a huge variety of end market, from highly efficient servers and high-performance mobile computers right through to very low power energy sipping sensors and low-cost microcontrollers. If we look at the volumes actually shipped, our royalty revenues, again, outperformed the overall semiconductor industry as our customers launched products into new markets and gained market share within existing target markets. And this revenue growth has enabled them to continue to invest further in R&D, enhancing our ability to innovate and continue to develop new products. And at the same time, we've grown earnings by 23% and delivered strong cash generation.

So looking forward to the rest of the year, despite Q1 industry shipment declining, sequentially, most analysts expect the industry to recover in the second half. And it is in that context that we expect the group dollar revenues for the full year will be in line with current market expectations.

Now we'll look at some of the business highlights and discuss the revenue drivers in the different parts of the business, starting with the Processor division, where all our licenses were assigned for, either, Cortex or Mali processors. And we signed 22 licenses in the quarter with a broad range of end markets. I've already mentioned servers and centers but we also signed licenses for product developments in security, security modules; the game consoles; mobile phone power controllers, which of course adds an extra royalty opportunity for mobile devices; deeply embedded chips in electric motor controllers and smart meters; and of course, the high-end apps processors for mobile computers and digital TVs and for those low- and high-end smartphones.

If we look at where these licenses were sold, just over half the licenses were for customers based in Asia. This included Cortex-A and Mali processors for consumer electronics, Cortex-R processors for base-band modems and Cortex-M processors for microcontrollers and smartcards. Over the years, we've increased our focus on the major economies in Asia. Last November, for instance, we announced we'd opened a design center in Hsinchu in Taiwan to deepen our collaboration with the major companies in that region.

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