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 Technology Stocks | Rambus (RMBS) - Eagle or Penguin


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To: Jeffry K. Smith who wrote (93403)8/31/2011 3:58:43 AM
From: hdl
   of 93597
 
yes.

there is much on investor village.

the media has a very negative slant against rmbs. it covered opening statements and just covered some testimony of an intc engineer. it ignores guilty pleas, devastating e-mails, and other documents and testimony.

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To: hdl who wrote (93404)8/31/2011 11:38:39 AM
From: Jeffry K. Smith
   of 93597
 
Thank you.

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To: hdl who wrote (93404)9/1/2011 2:28:03 AM
From: Don Green
   of 93597
 
the media has a very negative slant against rmbs.


there is much on investor village.....but with a positive and extremely bias slant..

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From: Don Green9/6/2011 5:12:08 PM
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Is Rambus Hiding Weakness?By Rex Moore | s
September 6, 2011


Rambus (Nasdaq: RMBS ) carries $309.3 million of goodwill and other intangibles on its balance sheet. Sometimes goodwill, especially when it's excessive, can foreshadow problems down the road. Could this be the case with Rambus?

Before we answer that, let's look at what could go wrong.

AOL blows up
In early 2002, AOL Time Warner was trading for $66.27 per share.

It had $209 billion of assets on its balance sheet, and $128 billion of that was in the form of goodwill and other intangible assets. Goodwill is simply the difference between the price paid for a company during an acquisition and the net assets of the acquired company. The $128 billion of goodwill in this case was created when AOL and Time Warner merged in 2000.

The problem with inflating your net assets with goodwill is that it can -- being intangible after all -- go away if the acquisition or merger doesn't create the amount of value that was expected. That's what happened in AOL Time Warner's case. It had to write off most of the goodwill over the next few months, and one year later that line item had shrunk to $37 billion. Investors punished the stock along the way, sending it down to $27.04 -- or nearly a 60% loss.

In his fine book It's Earnings That Count, Hewitt Heiserman explains the AOL situation and how two simple metrics can help minimize your risk of owning a company that may blow up like this. Let's see how Rambus holds up using his two metrics.

Intangible assets ratio
This ratio shows us the percentage of total assets made up by goodwill and other intangibles. Heiserman says he views anything over 20% as worrisome, "because management might be overpaying for the acquisition or acquisitions that gave rise to the goodwill."

Rambus has an intangible assets ratio of 41%.

This is well above Heiserman's threshold, and you should keep a close eye on just how the company is fueling its growth. It's also useful to compare it to tangible book value, which I explain below.

Tangible book value
Tangible book value is simply what remains after subtracting goodwill and other intangibles from shareholders' equity (also known as book value). If this is not a positive value, Heiserman advises you to run away because such companies may "lack the balance sheet muscle to protect themselves in a recession or from better-financed competitors."

Rambus' tangible book value is $117.3 million, so no yellow flags here.

By the way, I asked Heiserman about the tendency for some large-cap blue chips -- names like Procter & Gamble, IBM, and Altria -- to have a high intangible assets ratio and negative tangible book value. He says this can be OK, provided the company has (1) modest or no net debt, (2) persistent and rising levels of free cash flow, and (3) stock buybacks at a discount to intrinsic value.

Foolish bottom line
To recap, here are Rambus' numbers, as well as a bonus look at a few other companies in its industry. I've included companies that Rambus has either tussled with, or share an emphasis on IP to derive sales:

Company

Intangible Assets Ratio

Tangible Book Value (millions)

Rambus41%$117Micron Technology (Nasdaq: MU )3%$8,159NVIDIA (Nasdaq: NVDA )20%$2,738ARM Holdings (Nasdaq: ARMH )47%$681Source: Capital IQ, a division of Standard & Poor's.

If you own Rambus, or any other company that fails one of these checks, make sure you understand the business model and management's objectives. You can never base an entire investment thesis on one or two metrics, but there is a yellow flag here. I'll help you keep a close eye on these ratios over the next few quarters by updating them soon after each earnings report.

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From: Don Green9/12/2011 3:51:06 PM
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USPTO decides two Rambus patents are invalid

After it won lawsuits with them
By Lawrence Latif
Mon Sep 12 2011, 17:07

PATENT BULLY Rambus has suffered a blow in its never ending battle against hardware designers as the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) has declared two of its patents invalid.

Rambus uses its patent portfolio to go after other chip designers including Intel and Nvidia, along with memory makers. But now the USPTO has declared that two patents Rambus wielded to win lawsuits against Nvidia and HP are invalid.

Previously, the International Trade Commission (ITC) ruled that Nvidia, HP and other firms were infringing two Barth I patents owned by Rambus. This led to Nvidia settling with Rambus.

While the USPTO declaration sounds like Nvidia and HP could be within a shout of getting some of their money back, if Rambus appeals the rejection in the US Count of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, the patents will remain valid until the appeal is decided. In a statement to Reuters, Rambus said, "We are confident in the validity of our patents and are exploring our next steps to seek reversal of these decisions."

A decision on Rambus' third Barth I patent is expected within months. These patents were used by Rambus to accuse Broadcom, ST Microelectronics and Mediatek of infringement in an ITC complaint it filed nine months ago.

Rambus is well known for its aggressive litigation and is currently in a $4bn fight against DRAM manufacturers Hynix and Micron. The news that a couple of its patents have been declared invalid will please many in the industry who view Rambus as little more than a patent troll.

While the USPTO might have passed its judgement, it is unlikely that Rambus will let its two patents go without a fight. After all it is one of the few technology companies that has come out on top in the courtroom more than most. µ

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From: Don Green9/20/2011 1:55:14 AM
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Hynix Lawyer Says Rambus ‘Squandered' Memory Chip Opportunity
Sept. 20 (Bloomberg) -- A lawyer for Hynix Semiconductor Inc. told a jury that Rambus Inc.'s flawed technology and poor business decisions, rather than collusion by rivals, hobbled its chances of making its memory chip the industry standard.

In his closing argument yesterday at a state court trial in San Francisco that began in June, Hynix lawyer Ken Nissly denied that the world's second-largest maker of computer memory conspired to drive chips designed by Rambus out of the market.

Nissly showed jurors a timeline titled “Rambus Choices Doomed Intel Relationship” to introduce his argument that Rambus “had the best support for innovation they could possibly have” in its 1996 contract to develop its own version of dynamic random access memory, or DRAM, with Santa Clara, California-based Intel Corp., the world's largest chipmaker.

Rambus “squandered that advantage such that Intel decided by the end of 1999 that it had made a mistake, that it was going to change its road map,” Nissly said.

Rambus contends that Ichon, South Korea-based Hynix and Boise, Idaho-based Micron Technology Inc. colluded to lower the prices of their own memory chips and deserted their commitment to produce Rambus-designed DRAM, or RDRAM, relegating it to a niche role. Micron's lawyer is scheduled to give a closing argument today after Nissly finishes.

Rambus, which doesn't manufacture the chips it designs, argued it would have earned $3.95 billion in royalties without the alleged conspiracy. Under California law, a jury finding of damages in that amount would be automatically tripled to $11.9 billion.

‘Rigged the Race'

Hynix and Micron “cheated” and “rigged the race,” Sean Eskovitz, a lawyer for Rambus, said yesterday in his closing argument. The two chip manufacturers first fixed their prices below market value and “when they thought they had pushed RDRAM off to the side, they jacked up the prices.”

“Why did they do this? Power and money,” Eskovitz said. “They knew RDRAM was a threat. They knew they needed to shoot it over and over and over again,” and “they used every possible tactic available to them.”

The chip manufacturers, in denying the claims, are relying in part on testimony from managers at Intel, which in the 1990s selected RDRAM as a solution to a computer-memory bottleneck. Intel managers said the collaboration ultimately failed because RDRAM was flawed and because of a contract provision potentially allowing Rambus to block Intel from shipping processors relying on the chip designer's technology if certain conditions requiring Intel to promote RDRAM weren't met.

Price Drop

Eskovitz showed jurors a chart depicting the price of RDRAM dropping in the summer of 2000, after its introduction a year earlier. He highlighted video testimony and e-mails between executives and sales people at Micron and Hynix that he said demonstrate how the chip manufacturers intensified their collusion to stall production of RDRAM.

The collusion drove RDRAM prices high enough to cause Intel to alter its memory “road map” to include Double Data Rate chips made by Hynix and Micron, and blocked RDRAM from becoming an industry standard, Eskovitz said.

“Intel wanted RDRAM to succeed, Intel picked RDRAM because it was the superior technology,” Eskovitz told jurors. William Swope, a former Intel manager, testified “Intel's job was to have superior performance,” Eskovitz said.

Rambus played video-taped testimony from Mike Sadler, vice president of corporate development at Micron, who said he ceased e-mail communications about chip pricing in 2002 because the company received a U.S. Department of Justice subpoena as part of a price-fixing investigation.

Guilty Pleas

Eskovitz reminded jurors of Judge James McBride's instructions that they may consider the fact that Hynix, in 2005, and some of its employees, pleaded guilty to U.S. charges of fixing prices of some chips. Micron avoided prosecution in the price-fixing probe by cooperating with the government.

Nissly began his closing arguments by claiming that Eskovitz gave jurors dates and events “wadded up and thrown together.”

He said Eskovitz avoided addressing the central question: Did Micron or Hynix conspire to fix RDRAM prices high and DDR prices low, or restrict RDRAM output in order to prevent RDRAM from becoming the standard for computer memory?

The case is Rambus Inc. v. Micron Technology Inc., 04-0431105, California Superior Court (San Francisco).

--Editors: Peter Blumberg, Mary Romano

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From: Don Green9/20/2011 10:18:13 PM
   of 93597
 
Rambus Was ‘Dethroned’ By Intel, Micron Lawyer Argues at TrialSeptember 20, 2011, 9:34 PM EDT
By Joel Rosenblatt

Sept. 20 (Bloomberg) -- Rambus Inc.’s computer memory failed to become an industry standard because it was “dethroned” by Intel Corp., not as a result of a conspiracy by rivals, a lawyer for Micron Technology Inc. told a jury.

In closing arguments at a state-court trial in San Francisco, William Price, a lawyer for Micron, said today that Rambus was aware of technical problems with its version of dynamic random access memory, or DRAM, when it signed a 1996 contract to work with Santa Clara, California-based Intel Corp., the world’s largest chipmaker.

The relationship was “conceived in fraud,” Price told jurors. “Intel lived with Rambus” in an attempt to develop Rambus-designed memory, or RDRAM, into a product, he said.

“What Intel concluded at the end was RDRAM was not the product they thought it was, and that Rambus was not the company they thought it was,” Price said. Intel “selected Rambus to become king, and Intel dethroned Rambus.”

Rambus contends that Boise, Idaho-based Micron and Ichon, South Korea-based Hynix Semiconductor Inc. colluded to cut the prices of their own memory chips and deserted their commitment to produce RDRAM, relegating it to a niche role.

Rambus, which doesn’t make the chips it designs, said it would have made $3.95 billion in royalties without the alleged conspiracy. Under California law, a jury finding of damages in that amount would be automatically tripled to $11.9 billion.

Hynix lawyer Ken Nissly today described what he called Rambus’s “doomed” relationship with Intel.

Intel managers testified that the collaboration failed because RDRAM was flawed. They also cited a contract provision that allowed Rambus to block shipments of processors that relied on the chip designer’s technology if certain conditions requiring Intel to promote RDRAM weren’t met.

‘RDRAM-Compatible’

After arbitration, Intel offered in 2000 to develop an “RDRAM-compatible solution” for high-performance and mainstream segments of the computer memory market through 2002, and in the less expensive segment starting in 2001, Nissly said.

He cited the testimony of William Swope, a former Intel manager, who was asked about Rambus’s rejection of the offer.

“I thought the relationship was doomed,” Nissly quoted Swope as saying.

“Intel could make Rambus, and they could unmake Rambus. Rambus itself acknowledges that,” Nissly told jurors. “No Intel witness came and testified in a way that supported Rambus’s case.”

Price Decline

Sean Eskovitz, a lawyer for Sunnyvale, California-based Rambus, in his closing argument showed jurors a chart depicting the price decline of RDRAM in the summer of 2000, after its introduction a year earlier. He highlighted video testimony and e-mails between executives and sales people at Micron and Hynix that he said demonstrated how the chipmakers intensified their collusion to stall production of RDRAM.

The collusion drove RDRAM prices up, which in turn caused Intel to alter its memory “road map” to include Double Data Rate chips made by Hynix and Micron, and blocked RDRAM from becoming an industry standard, Eskovitz said.

The two chip manufacturers first fixed their prices below market value and “when they thought they had pushed RDRAM off to the side, they jacked up the prices,” he said.

“Why did they do this? Power and money,” Eskovitz said. “They knew RDRAM was a threat. They knew they needed to shoot it over and over and over again.”

The case is Rambus Inc. v. Micron Technology Inc., 04- 0431105, California Superior Court (San Francisco).

--Editors: Peter Blumberg, Mary Romano

To contact the reporter on this story: Joel Rosenblatt in San Francisco at jrosenblatt@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Michael Hytha at mhytha@bloomberg.net

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From: Don Green9/22/2011 11:21:38 PM
   of 93597
 
DG>>>Rambus news reporting, reaches a new low!!!!!


Rambus faithful set up verdict vigil
7:20pm EDT
By Laird Harrison

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Pat Hughes left the bar he owns in New York City, flew across the country and showed up at 4:45 a.m. Wednesday morning to stand in line.

He wasn't trying to buy tickets to the Super Bowl or a Lady Gaga concert or shop at a holiday sale. Rather he wanted to be sure of getting a seat in a stuffy courtroom where lawyers would spend hours expounding on the minutiae of semiconductor technology.

Such is the dedication of investors in Rambus Inc, which for a decade has been fighting to prove that titans of industry conspired to steal its patents, fix prices and drive it out of business
. Closing arguments ended Wednesday in Rambus's lawsuit against Micron Technology Inc and Hynix Semiconductor Inc after more than three months of testimony.

Investors such as Hughes have descended on the California Superior Court in San Francisco to watch their side do battle -- and perhaps make a last-minute trade.

"It's the David vs. Goliath thing," said Hughes, 46. "And so many of us have lost so much of our investment."

Billions of dollars are at stake. Rambus is asking for $3.95 billion in damages, which by California law would be instantly tripled, as well as unspecified punitive damages. Such an award could dramatically change the fortune of a company worth $1.46 billion in market capitalization as of Wednesday.

The company's shares often gyrate in tandem with major court decisions. For example, in January 2007 Rambus shares gained 9 percent after a favorable ruling in a case involving Hynix.

And the shares dropped 18 percent in May this year when an appeals court ruled against Rambus in a case against Micron.

On Thursday, a half dozen of the Ramboids, as company followers call themselves, set up a vigil in the marble-floored corridor outside the courtroom, waiting for the jury to return.

Jim Rockwell of Orange, Connecticut, said he has followed the company's fortunes since investing in 1999. A former software company owner, Rockwell said he was impressed by Rambus' inventions, which he believes underlie much of the hardware now on the market. "Computer memory would be so much slower if it were not for what they did," he said.

Rockwell, who also attended previous trials in California, Virginia and Washington, D.C., spent a week lining up at 6 a.m. for one of the coveted 42 seats in the courtroom. By Wednesday morning, the line stretched nearly a block, and anyone who arrived after 7 a.m. was relegated to following the online postings of the early birds.

The group shared donuts in line and many went out for dinner to pore over the closing arguments.

Lawyers for both sides focused on the reasons and the timing of the decision by the dominant microprocessor company, Intel Corp, to abandon Rambus's memory product RDRAM in favor of SDRAM, which became the industry standard.

Rambus says South Korea's Hynix and Idaho-based Micron colluded to fix prices of memory chips used in personal computers and prevent its technology from becoming widely used. It claims it lost billions of dollars in business.

Micron and Hynix argue that Rambus's chip technology was plagued by technical problems and that the company blames competitors for its own failure.

Micron attorney William Price and Hynix attorney Kenneth Nissly displayed memos from Intel and other computer companies suggesting that Rambus's arrogance had alienated its business partners. "Based on their view of the product, Rambus, and the changing market, Intel had decided not to have anything to do with Rambus," said Price.

In rebuttal, Rambus attorney Bart H. Williams argued that Intel's decision to switch from RDRAM to SDRAM came about only because it was harder to get RDRAM. "It was all about price and availability," he said.

Much of Rambus income comes from patent licensing, and it has initiated litigation against a range of tech companies. Winning patent cases makes it easier for Rambus to negotiate additional licensing arrangements.

The case in Superior Court of the State of California, County of San Francisco is Rambus Inc. v. Micron Technology Inc. et al, 04-431105.

(Reporting by Laird Harrison; Editing by Phil Berlowitz)

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From: hdl10/4/2011 8:42:46 AM
   of 93597
 
the jury has yet to come in with a verdict in rmbs AT trial against mu and hynix.

don greene has been right for years - that one could wait to by rmbs. on eve of $10 B verdict market cap is $1.5 B

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From: Don Green10/12/2011 5:39:50 PM
   of 93597
 
Rambus jury in fourth week of deliberation

Jury asks to review Micron executive's testimony

* Rambus claims billions in antitrust damages

By Laird Harrison

SAN FRANCISCO, Oct 12 (Reuters) - In its fourth week of deliberations, the jury in Rambus Inc's $4 billion antitrust lawsuit against Micron and Hynix has yet to reach a verdict -- and is reviewing more testimony from the trial.

The request to hear a transcript of witness testimony on Wednesday was not accompanied by any further information about when jurors in the California state court trial might render a verdict.

Over the course of a trial that lasted more than three months, Rambus accused Idaho-based Micron and South Korea-based Hynix of colluding to fix prices of memory chips used in personal computers and preventing Rambus's technology from becoming widely used. Rambus claims it lost billions of dollars in business.

Micron and Hynix countered that Rambus's chip technology was plagued by technical problems and that Rambus blames competitors for its own failure.

Jurors on Wednesday asked to review the testimony of Michael Sadler, chief sales executive for Micron. In video testimony, he said he had met with Hynix representatives to discuss setting the prices of microchips, and agreed with a Rambus attorney that the conversation was "improper."

The jury has already listened to one readback of Sadler's testimony, by a court reporter. It lasted more than an hour.

At its request, the jury has also listened to testimony by four other witnesses, all of them former executives at Hynix, Micron and their clients.

Over the course of four weeks, the jury has deliberated on 11 days. On Tuesday it expanded its schedule from five hours per day to seven hours per day.

Any antitrust damages awarded to Rambus could be instantly tripled under California law. Rambus is also seeking punitive damages.

Such an award could dramatically change the fortunes of Rambus, which was worth $1.46 billion in stock market value on Wednesday. Rambus shares closed at $15.68 on Wednesday, up nearly 2 percent.

The company's shares often gyrate in tandem with major court decisions.

The case in Superior Court of the State of California, County of San Francisco is Rambus Inc. v. Micron Technology Inc. et al, 04-431105

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