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   Technology StocksSigma Designs- Up 50% per Month- Why?

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From: JakeStraw2/1/2007 11:59:30 AM
   of 849
Japan's Leading Internet Video on Demand GyaO Service From USEN Embraces New Home TV Application
Thursday February 1, 8:00 am ET

USEN's GyaO Plus Developed by I-O DATA DEVICE and Powered by Sigma Designs' Media Processors

SAN JOSE, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--I-O DATA DEVICE, INC., a worldwide distributor of PCs and consumer electronics, today announced the GyaO Plus, a "TV connected PC" that can be connected to the GyaO Internet Video on Demand (VOD) free service operated by USEN CORPORATION. GyaO Plus comes with a ten foot interface remote controller and makes it easy for all consumers to access GyaO Internet content on their TV, anytime. Initially available online at, the GyaO Plus has a suggested retail price of Yen 24,800 ($234 USD) which includes all tax, shipping and handling costs.

I-O DATA DEVICE, INC. co-developed GyaO Plus with USEN CORPORATION, I-O DATA DEVICE USA, INC. and Sigma Designs, Inc. The product offering is part of the USEN Group's evolution into a "Media Contents Company" which officially began in 2005 when GyaO became Japan's brand new broadcasting service for the PC. Today, approximately 13 million users enjoy GyaO Internet, TV, movie and music content free of charge as the service is fully operated by advertising revenue.

"We are pleased to work with USEN to help bring the company's GyaO customers, including non-PC holders, a new and exciting free Internet content offering," said Jack Akita, director of business development of I-O DATA DEVICE USA, INC. "The GyaO Plus TV connected PC will strengthen our already number one place in the market three years running with the LinkPlayer series of digital media adapters also powered by Sigma Designs' media processors."

"Our media processors have become the de facto standard for use in consumer electronics products worldwide," said Ken Lowe, vice president of strategic marketing, Sigma Designs. "With the rise in demand for connecting content between the PC to the TV in home consumer electronics, our breadths of technologies offer consumer equipment vendors and service companies a complete development platform for a whole new generation of products."

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From: Paul Lee3/14/2008 8:00:58 AM
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Sigma Designs: Searching For The Bottom
Posted by Eric Savitz
Sigma Designs (SIGM) shares certainly are having a bad day; but what’s really astonishing is just how much the stock has fallen in the last three months. Since early December, the stock has dropped 70%. This despite the fact that the company remains a dominant chip supplier in both of its key markets: IPTV set-top boxes and Blu-Ray players.

The biggest concern in both cases has been a fear of growing competition. In IPTV, the company has had a near monopoly in chips for the Motorola (MOT) boxes used in AT&T’s U-verse television service, which it has been rolling out aggressively. The stock took a big hit in early January when Broadcom announced that it was being evaluated by Microsoft (MSFT), which makes the IPTV software on which AT&T U-verse is built, as potential competitor for IPTV set-tops. While the company should benefit from the recent news that Blu-Ray has finally knocked out HD-DVD as the industry wide standard for high-def DVDs, it has provided no help for the stock.

Yesterday, the big news was a warning on FY Q1 revenues, which will come in way short due to previous over-ordering by Motorola, which apparently over-estimated the demand for IPTV boxes from AT&T (T). The company said things should normalize later in the year, but investors seem not entirely convinced. The news also raises another obvious question: did Motorola simply produce too many boxes, or is demand or is AT&T rolling out U-verse a little slower than it had expected? Actually, there is another answer, analysts say: AT&T is using Cisco’s (CSCO) Scientific Atlanta unit as a second-source.

N. Quinn Bolton, an analyst at Needham, notes that there are couple of other concerns, as well. One is that gross margin in the fourth quarter fell sharply. Another is that, despite SIGM’s promises, it could take longer than expected to work through the extra box inventory at Motorola. He also says that based on management’s estimates that the overall market this year will be 14 million IPTV STBs and 5 million Blu-Ray players, you get a total addressable market of $342 million. That makes management’s estimate of revenue for the January ‘09 fiscal year of $300 million to $350 million “aggressive,” Bolton says.

Tristan Gerra, an analyst with Robert W. Baird, advises staying out of the stock “until we get more visibility about the timing of a return to normal orders patterns in IPTV, as well as an update on potential new developments regarding the competition landscape.” He cut his target on the stock to $30 from $50.

Other analysts are more optimistic, though most cut targets:

RBC Capital’s Mark Sue cut his target to $30 from $35. He maintains his Outperform rating, but says that “the outlook is not pretty.”
UBS’ Uche Orji keeps his Buy rating, but cuts his target to $48 from $75. He blames the MOT issue on AT&T’s ramp up of Scientific Atlanta set-tops.
Roth Capital’s Jay Srivatsa keeps his Buy rating, but cuts his target to $45 from $58. He says the stock is cheap, with $6.91 a share in cash and no debt, and trading at just 10x FY 2010 estimates.
ThinkEquity’s Anton Wahlman likewise maintains his Buy rating. He snipped his target to $73 from $74. “Fundamentally, the story continues unchanged, in the sense that it keeps getting better and better,” he writes. Hard to believe he is writing about the same stock as everyone else.
Sigma Designs today is down $4.04, or 16%, at $21.22.

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From: Paul Lee3/31/2008 12:08:25 PM
   of 849
Sigma's Media Processor Is Selected to Power the Comcast/Panasonic Unique AnyPlay(TM) Portable DVR
Monday March 31, 9:01 am ET

MILPITAS, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Sigma Designs (Nasdaq:SIGM - News), a leader in digital media processing System-on-a-Chip Solutions (SoCs) for consumer electronics, today announced that its highly integrated EM8622L media processor was selected by Panasonic (NYSE:MC - News), the market leader in high-end portable DVD players and Plasma HDTVs, to power the new AnyPlay™ P-DVR being jointly developed with Comcast Corporation (Nasdaq: CMCSA - News, CMCSK - News), the nation's leading provider of entertainment, information and communications products and services.
The Comcast/Panasonic co-branded AnyPlay P–DVR Model TZ-LC100 is the industry’s first portable DVR player powered by tru2way™ technology and will allow Comcast cable customers to record programming at home and take it with them wherever they go. Powered by Sigma’s EM8622L, the AnyPlay P-DVR incorporates digital video recording functionality into a Panasonic portable DVD player platform and features 60GB of digital video recording capacity, an 8.5” folding LCD display screen, and integrated stereo speakers. Dual audio headphone jacks are included to support personal viewing. Comcast and Panasonic announced at CES 2008 that the P-DVR will be available beginning in early 2009.

“We’re pleased that Sigma’s advanced EM8622L SoC is powering the video processing of such an innovative Panasonic product,” said Ken Lowe, VP of strategic marketing at Sigma Designs. “This announcement highlights the breadth of consumer electronics products powered by Sigma from HDTVs and Blu-ray Disc players in the living room to mobile devices that can offer consumers the best video experience everywhere they go.”

“We’ve been pleased to work with Sigma Designs while developing the portable DVR platform,” said Dr. Paul Liao, Chief Technology Officer, Panasonic Corporation of North America, the principal North American subsidiary of Matsushita Electric Industrial Co., Ltd. (NYSE: MC - News). “The company’s chips enable our product to give customers a reliable and sharp, crisp video viewing experience wherever and whenever they want it.”

When placed onto a companion docking station that functions as a standard DVR set-top box, the AnyPlay P-DVR lets viewers watch and record their favorite television programs from their television sets. However, unlike a traditional set-top box, it can be taken out of its docking station, so recorded programs can be watched anywhere in or out of the home on the AnyPlay P-DVR. It also can play back DVDs and audio CDs.

About Sigma SoCs

Sigma provides advanced media processor silicon and software that constitute a system-on-a-chip (SoC) solution for designing HDTVs, IPTV set-top boxes, Blu-ray Disc players, Digital Media Adapters (DMA), portable and mobile devices, enabling customers to focus on software development and value-added features that extend far beyond basic operations. The next-generation technology contained in Sigma’s EM8622L media processor enables consumer electronic devices to offer stunning, precise pictures and remarkably beautiful sound as well as intelligent interactive features.

About Sigma Designs, Inc.

Sigma Designs is a leading fabless provider of highly integrated system-on-chip, or SoC, solutions that are used to deliver multimedia entertainment throughout the home. Sigma’s SoC solutions combine its semiconductors and software and are a critical component of multiple high-growth, consumer applications that process digital video and audio content, including internet protocol TV, or IPTV, high definition DVD players, high definition TVs, or HDTVs, and portable media players. Headquartered in Milpitas, Calif., Sigma Designs also has sales representatives in the United States, Belgium, China, Japan and Taiwan and sells its products through a third-party distributor in Korea. For more information, please visit Sigma Designs’ web site at

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To: Paul Lee who wrote (841)3/31/2008 12:14:49 PM
From: Paul Lee
   of 849
Sigma aims for upper end of sales forecast
Fri Mar 28, 2008 4:49am EDT
By Jennifer Tan

SINGAPORE (Reuters) - U.S. chipmaker Sigma Designs Inc (SIGM.O: Quote, Profile, Research) may reach the upper end of its $300-$350 million revenue forecast for the fiscal year ending January 2009, thanks to new customers in Internet-Protocol television


Sigma, which competes with Broadcom Corp (BRCM.O: Quote, Profile, Research) and STMicroelectronics (STM.PA: Quote, Profile, Research), makes chips that are used in set-top boxes which allows users to watch TV shows over the Internet, and Blu-ray high-definition DVD players.

"To get to $300 million is conservative expectations for a lot of people -- getting to $300 million does not seem to be a very big leap of faith," Sigma Vice President Ken Lowe told Reuters in a telephone interview on Friday.

"To get to the next level -- $350 million -- means we've got some market developments going on, means we've got some new customers we need to bring online. If new customers come online, we obviously have an opportunity to go above the 300 level."

Lowe added that Sigma expects to sign on "a handful" of IPTV customers later this year, and was in talks with France Telecom (FTE.PA: Quote, Profile, Research), U.S-based Verizon Communications Inc (VZ.N: Quote, Profile, Research) and India's Reliance Communications (RLCM.BO: Quote, Profile, Research).

"We see a strong year for IPTV -- we see unit volumes continuing to increase in each of the continents," he said.

"France is the strongest by far in Europe, AT&T (T.N: Quote, Profile, Research) in North America, and Korea is leading the pack in Asia Pacific."

Sigma, with a market value of nearly $700 million, derives more than 70 percent of group revenues from the IPTV segment and about 15 percent of sales from Blu-ray players.

Industry shipments of IPTV set-top boxes are expected to surge 75 percent to 14 million units in 2008 from last year, while Blu-ray players are likely to jump five-fold this year, according to company estimates.

Blu-ray technology recently won out over rival format HD DVD in a battle to become the next generation industry standard, a move analysts expect to spur a jump in demand for Blu-ray players.

Sigma holds about 80 percent of the global IPTV chipset market, while its share for Blu-ray stand-alone players is about 75 percent.

"We continue to believe that Sigma is well-positioned to benefit from accelerating deployments of IPTV worldwide. Blu-ray should also become an important revenue contributor in the second half of the year, driven by seasonality and increased availability of low-cost players from Chinese and Taiwanese manufacturers," said UBS Investment Research analyst Uche Orji in a recent client note. He has a buy call on the stock.

Earlier this month, Sigma reported fourth-quarter earnings that slightly missed Wall Street estimates, due to a drop in its gross margins, and forecast a sequential decline in first-quarter revenue. It said it expects the sequential revenue growth to resume in the second quarter.

In the fourth quarter, the company's net income jumped to $35.3 million from $4.6 million a year ago. Gross margins fell to 49 percent in the quarter, from 51.3 percent a year ago.

Lowe said he expected gross margins to remain in the 50 percent range as the company focuses on advanced chips with new features and on lowering the cost of production.

Sigma's shares have lost nearly 60 percent in the last three months.

(Editing by Jan Dahinten and Lincoln Feast)

SIGM.O-E for stories on Sigma

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From: Paul Lee4/16/2008 6:36:26 AM
   of 849
NAB 2008 Serves as Successful Launch Pad for Sigma's Next Generation IPTV Media Processor
Wednesday April 16, 6:00 am ET
Sigma feels well positioned to maintain its leadership position and future revenue goals

LAS VEGAS--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Sigma Designs (Nasdaq:SIGM - News), a leader in digital media processing SoCs for consumer electronics, today announced the successful demonstration and customer reception of its new SMP8654 media processor system-on-chip (SoC) at this week’s NAB show. Sigma demonstrated the power of the new SMP8654 running the Microsoft Mediaroom client in a side by side showing of the only other SoC to publicly demonstrate its Mediaroom support, Sigma’s own SMP8634.

“We are very pleased with the response we received at NAB and for the rapid adoption by the industry of our new generation media processor, the SMP8654,” said Ken Lowe, vice president of strategic marketing. “Based on initial feedback that we have received, we believe the combination of the SMP8654’s performance, its wealth of legacy IPTV software, and demonstrated support as a Microsoft Mediaroom platform will propel it quickly into deployments while other next generation chips struggle to achieve a shippable solution. As the clear leader in the IPTV market, now offering perhaps the industry’s best price/performance product, we feel confident that we remain on track to achieve our goal of $300 million in revenue for this fiscal year.”

The SMP8654 is a new generation media processor SoC that integrates a complete complement of next-generation capabilities, including a multi-core architecture that can provide a 50% increase in performance while reducing sub-system costs by around 30 percent compared to its predecessor, Sigma’s industry leading SMP8634. The SMP8654 comes with a legacy of software compatibility that enables set-top box customers to rapidly move into production and build on the capabilities established in their previous generation products. Sigma also announced a collaboration to enable the Microsoft Mediaroom™ Internet Protocol Television (IPTV) and multimedia platform to operate on next-generation set-top boxes using the new Sigma SMP8654 SoC.

As a demonstration of the rapid success of this new SoC, Sigma’s SMP8654 has already received endorsements and planned developments from many of the world’s largest set-top box providers, including UT Starcom, Tatung, Netgem, and Celrun.

About Sigma’s SMP8654 System-on-a-Chip Solution

Sigma’s SMP8654 media processor integrates a complete complement of next-generation capabilities for a single-chip system-on-chip (SOC) solution with a multi-core architecture, powerful multimedia processing, robust content security system, and a full complement of peripherals. The SMP8654 features a powerful 500-Mhz Mips host CPU, a second processor called the IPU for offloading burdensome real-time tasks, and a third processor dedicated to managing security functions. Its advanced decoder engines support high definition video decoding of H.264 (MPEG-4 part 10), Windows Media® Video 9, VC-1, MPEG-2 and MPEG-4 (part 2), the new AVS standard, and can support up to 16 independent streams on screen in different formats. High-performance graphics acceleration, multi-standard audio decoding, advanced display processing capabilities, and HDMI 1.3 output round out its multimedia core. Powerful content security is ensured through a dedicated secure processor, on-chip flash memory, and a range of digital rights management (DRM) engines for high-speed payload decryption. Additional functions include dual 32-bit DDR-2 memory controllers, dual Gigabit Ethernet controller, dual USB 2.0 controller, NAND flash controller, and SATA controller provide for a single-chip solution for most set-top boxes and consumer players.

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To: Paul Lee who wrote (843)6/1/2008 4:43:44 PM
From: John Finley
   of 849
Hmmm... This is weird. I've been out of SIGM for years and was unaware that it peaked at ~70 (shoulda held longer <g>). It entered my radar again as it plummeted. I see that over 40% of the float is shorted with a forward PE of 7.5. I'd say a lot of people don't believe that their future is rosy. Guess I'll be paying attention once again.


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To: John Finley who wrote (844)6/4/2008 7:50:34 AM
From: robert b furman
   of 849
Hi John,

Me to.

Good to have this old subject mark pop up - forgot I had it.


P.S. no position

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To: robert b furman who wrote (845)6/4/2008 7:40:19 PM
From: John Finley
   of 849
Hi Bob
Yes, I noticed quite a few of my subject marks hadn't had any new action in years...

Someone told me long ago that some institutions will short their holdings if they suspect a pothole in the road coming up. Wonder if there's any truth to that with SIGM. 40% of the float short sounds like a lot of people are very sure of something.

It doesn't look like a wholesale technology shift of the likes of Applied Magnetics, so maybe there's an opportunity here or down the road a bit.


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To: John Finley who wrote (846)7/30/2008 2:46:33 PM
From: Bret Masterson
   of 849
Just started getting interested in this stock. Haven't really studied the stock in depth, but have heard that despite the recession, end sales of HDTV are still strong, which should bode well for them. No position yet. Seems like there could easily be a $10 point turnaround to the upside.

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From: Paul Lee12/18/2008 7:41:15 AM
   of 849
Sigma Signs Definitive Agreement for Acquisition of Zensys
Thursday December 18, 6:00 am ET
Wireless Start-up Markets Widespread RF Standard for IP-based Home Control Including Energy Management and Entertainment Appliances

MILPITAS, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Sigma Designs (Nasdaq:SIGM - News), a leader in digital media processor SoC’s for consumer electronics, today announced that it has signed a definitive agreement to acquire Zensys Holdings Corporation, a wireless start-up company. Zensys, headquartered in Fremont, California, is an innovative developer of single-chip RF solutions called Z-Wave® that has already been designed into over 250 smart home products world-wide.

Consumers throughout the world have been embracing an increasing number of devices placed under electronic control in their homes. As more of these disparate devices come into the home, the various types of technologies used by manufacturers have provided limited interoperability, creating a confusing landscape for the consumer. Moving to the next generation, home products are trending toward more intelligent solutions that are interoperable as well as accessible through the Internet. Although wireless RF is commonly regarded as the base technology for these next generation home products, there is a need for a universal RF standard that establishes a common protocol for remote control and monitoring coupled with a simple, low-cost RF implementation that enables widespread use.

In response to this market situation, Zensys has developed Z-Wave®, a solution designed to provide manufacturers with an intelligent and interoperable standard that has been incorporated into over 250 household products by more than 60 world-class suppliers Z-Wave® establishes a wireless mesh network that transforms virtually any electronic device into an intelligent networked device that can be controlled and monitored wirelessly, and can seamlessly interact with other home devices and systems. These networked devices can then be accessed through a gateway or set-top box to enable Internet based monitoring and control of the entire range of devices in the home. The devices are implemented using a family of low-cost, low-power integrated RF transceiver chips embedded with Z-Wave®, along with a suite of development tools and services designed to make it easy to create compelling wireless consumer products. These products include home audio/video entertainment, lighting and appliance control, energy management, access and security control, and building automation, among others.

Zensys was founded in 1999 to develop wireless solutions for the emerging home automation and remote control markets. Over its 10-year history, Zensys has developed a line of RF transceiver chips and the Z-Wave® wireless mesh network ecosystem, which has been designed into more household products than any other competing standard. The Z-Wave® Alliance, an industry consortium founded by Zensys, administers and promotes this standard. Zensys is currently shipping over a million RF transceiver chips per year into a widening range of consumer devices.

Upon completion of the acquisition, Zensys’ headquarters will be physically merged into the headquarters of Sigma Designs in the neighboring city of Milpitas. Zensys also has an R&D center located in Copenhagen, Denmark, housing all engineering and operations personnel, which will remain in place. The group currently employs 33 people, 23 of which are engineers.

“The Zensys acquisition provides a very attractive business and technology addition for Sigma at multiple levels,” said Thinh Tran, chairman and CEO of Sigma Designs. “First, the Zensys family of consumer chips will add a new layer of revenue growth for Sigma. Second, we believe this class of extremely efficient and low cost RF technology will become pervasive in many more types of future home products. Finally, we see a strong synergy with our set-top box offerings as the world moves toward IP-based video delivery and providers are able to establish platform extensions for additional services.”

Under the terms of the merger agreement, Sigma Designs will make an undisclosed cash payment for the acquisition of Zensys. The acquisition is subject to various standard closing conditions and is expected to close by the end of December.

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