Skyworks Solutions reported healthy fiscal second quarter earnings. Although the company gave investors a third-quarter outlook that was modestly below our expectations, it hinted at nice growth in the second half of calendar 2013.
Skyworks’ revenue was $425 million in the March quarter, slightly above the outlook of $420 million as discussed by management in January. Sales were down 6% sequentially because of seasonal weakness in handset manufacturing activity, but the revenue decline was less than the firm’s five-year historical average. Sales were up 17% from the year-ago quarter. The company continues to profit from its leadership position in radio frequency chips used in increasingly complex 3G and 4G networks like LTE.
Its design wins in Samsung’s upcoming Galaxy S4 smartphone probably gave Skyworks a shot in the arm in the March quarter, while analog chip sales into nonhandset end markets continue to fare well. Lower sales levels caused gross margins to dip 80 basis points to 42%, while modest restructuring costs led Skyworks to earn a 16% operating margin in the March quarter, versus 19% in the December quarter.
For the June quarter, Skyworks expects revenue of $435 million, which would represent only 2% growth but about 150 basis points of gross margin improvement, thanks to a richer content mix of more advanced products. Even though March sales were quite good, we would have expected greater top-line growth as handset manufacturing activity picks back up, especially given Samsung’s product launch.
We suspect that Apple’s AAPL soft forecast for iPhone sales in the June quarter is partially to blame. However, Skyworks expects a solid second half of calendar 2013 and forecasts 15% annual growth for fiscal 2013. A new iPhone launch is likely to aid these top-line efforts. Although the firm will clearly see top-line growth from marquee design wins in the future, we view Skyworks as more than just a pure-play investment in Apple’s suppliers. Rather, we view growing complexities associated with RF content and LTE networks as a broad-based problem in the handset industry that Skyworks is well positioned to help solve in the years ahead.