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   Technology StocksSilicon Motion Inc. (SIMO)

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From: Elroy4/26/2019 9:10:28 PM
   of 2782
Some tidbits from SK Hynix's Q1 conference call....

NAND Flash bit shipment was reduced 6% quarter-on-quarter, performing better than expected. There was a slowdown in overall demand but the company actively responded to the market for a high-density mobile applications. ASP was down 32% quarter-on-quarter, showing a steeper decline as competition became more intense among suppliers, looking to adjust their inventory, and as the portion of sales increased for higher-density products which have lower price per unit.

MCP sales decreased 32% quarter-on-quarter as its bit shipment declined due to weak set demand even as Chinese smartphone makers continue to adopt higher memory density. Meanwhile, its sales portion out of total revenue was retained at last quarter's 23%.

Operating profit in the first quarter was KRW 1.366 trillion, down 69% from the previous quarter. Even as revenue was reduced, there was increase in expense for the initial operation of the M15 fab as well as recognition of inventory write-off due to sharp price erosion.

In the NAND market, there was also faster-than-expected price decline across all applications in the first quarter, following severe price competition among suppliers led by higher level of inventory burden across the industry. But now well over into 1 year of price decline, there is elastic increase in demand due to the lowered price. With increasing SSD adoption rate in PCs, the NAND content began to increase at the same time. The move to higher mobile NAND content is also accelerating.

Demand recovery is expected to gain momentum in the second quarter with the portion increase of 128-gigabyte NAND adoption among MCPs. Also, 256-gigabyte NAND products, which was regarded as higher-end specifications, will start to be adopted even in MCPs. Moreover, PC SSDs adopting 512 gigabytes and above will be gradually increased to reach around 30% at year-end.

Along with such demand trend, the pace of wafer input and ramp-up of next-gen products is expected to be adjusted following NAND players' announcement. Consequently, suppliers' inventory burden as well as the rate of price decline is predicted to gradually ease.

Meanwhile, DRAM and NAND bit shipment growth in the second quarter is planned at around mid-10% and mid-20%, respectively, with the base effect in the previous quarter, gradual recovery in customers' component purchases and demand elasticity from lowered price. For the full year, DRAM bit shipment growth is planned at mid- to high 10%, and NAND bit shipment growth at more than high 30%, the same as our original guidance.

Now for NAND, looking at the inventory at the end of the first quarter. Then yes, we see that the volume has -- appears to gone up on a quarter-on-quarter basis. But then when we look at the number of days in the inventory, then given the sales projection for the second quarter, then we can see that it has actually gone down.

And then now by the end of the second quarter, there is a possibility of the NAND inventory increasing slightly, but then the increase is not -- the increase itself is going to be limited. And then going into the third quarter and the fourth, the NAND inventory would also start to go down. And by the end of the year, it will stabilize at a normal level.

Now regarding your second question about the inventory write-off. Yes, it's true that in the first quarter, there has been sizable inventory write-off because of the concentrated cost for initial operation of the new fab and also the sharp decline in the prices. But then in the second quarter, because the buildup in the inventory is going to slow down and also the price decline is going to slow down. So we believe that in the second quarter, the inventory write-off increase is not going to be significant.

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From: Elroy4/29/2019 10:16:58 PM
   of 2782
Tidbits from WDC's conference call

Demand for flash-based products was slightly better than expectations; however, prices declined more than we anticipated.

We continue to make excellent progress toward commercializing our internally developed NVMe based platforms. I'm pleased to report the commencement of initial revenue shipments of our enterprise NVMe SSD and we are on track to accelerate the volume ramp of this product over the remainder of calendar 2019. We also commence shipments of our NVMe client SSDs based on 96-layer, 3D flash, BiCS4 technology. The manufacturing ramp and commercialization of BiCS4, which we believe is the industry's lowest cost technology is progressing well. In the second half of calendar 2019, BiCS4 will become our highest volume runner in terms of flash output.

In enterprise SSDs, NVMe product qualifications at hyperscale customers are progressing to plan. This product built on our internally developed controller and firmware, complements our other enterprise SSD solutions that are already shipping. Consistent with the platform approach we discussed last quarter, we expect to expand our enterprise SSD product portfolio throughout 2019 in a cost effective and predictable manner, including a version that incorporates BiCS4. In Client Devices, demand for hard drives for the PC market was slightly better than our expectations.

In client SSDs, our exabyte shipments more than doubled from a year ago quarter driven by strong price elasticity. Additionally, we've begun shipping our mainstream client SSD products based on BiCS4 technology. In client solutions, we are very pleased with the success of our external SSDs sold through retail and we have continued to expand our presence in this category over the last several quarters.

Based on recent industry announcements, we estimate flash industry supply growth to be slightly more than 30% in calendar 2019, somewhat lower from our prior forecast.

In Flash, our product portfolio in 2019 has been significantly enhanced with the expansion of our NVMe product line for both client and enterprise SSDs and we continue to have brand leadership in retail.

Flash revenue was $1.6 billion with a sequential bit decline of 5% and a sequential average selling price per gigabyte decline of 23%. The sequential decline in Flash revenue was primarily due to price, seasonality, and weaker sales of embedded mobile products.

Non-GAAP gross margin in the quarter was 25.3%, below our guidance of approximately 28% due to a $110 million charge or 300 basis point impact incurred for lower of cost or market LCM reserves. Flash non-GAAP gross margin was 21% due to the rate of price productions and the aforementioned $110 million LCM charge, primarily related to an inventory write down of multi-chip packages that contain DRAM.

Looking into the June quarter, we expect of flash and HDD inventory to decline on a sequential basis.

we'll continue to see a downdraft in terms of flash gross margins in the current quarter as we see cost -- price pressures continue.

we expect our top line to improve at a meaningful rate as we see demand pick up, capacity enterprise as well as seasonal pickup in demand from both a flash and from a hard drive perspective.

Let me provide a little bit more color on that, in the sense that we continue to expect that our hard drive margins will improve as we move through the balance of the calendar year. Flash becomes the wildcard, now I said this last call and I'm going to say it again because it really is the same answer. What are we assuming? We're assuming that we're going to continue to see pressure in terms of our flash gross margins as we move through the balance of the calendar year. And the reason that we're doing that principally is that, we want to plan for the worst and if you want to call it hope for the best. Now, we don't know exactly what's going to happen to Flash gross margins because a lot of that is dependent upon other factors that are outside of our control. What do our competitors do, production levels, demand levels, and all that. So, we don't know exactly how it's going to play out, but from our standpoint it is safest to assume that we're going to continue to see our Flash gross margins remain under some degree of pressure as we move through the calendar year, albeit maybe at a moderating level from a pricing perspective as we move through to the back half of the year.

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From: Elroy4/29/2019 10:23:35 PM
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TAIPEI, Taiwan and MILPITAS, Calif., April 29, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Silicon Motion Technology Corporation ( SIMO)(“Silicon Motion” or the “Company”), a global leader in designing and marketing NAND flash controllers for solid state storage devices, confirms today its quarterly cash dividend.

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)--sm Mt(0.8em)--sm" type="text" content="On October 29, 2018, the Board of Directors of the Company declared payment of an annual dividend of US$1.20 per ADS1, equivalent to US$0.30 per ordinary share, which will be paid in four quarterly installments of $0.30 per ADS, equivalent to US$0.075 per ordinary share.&nbsp; According to the previously announced record and payment dates, the next quarterly installment will be paid on May 23, 2019 to all shareholders of record on May 9, 2019. Our depository bank’s DR Books will be closed for issuance and cancellation on May 9, 2019.">On October 29, 2018, the Board of Directors of the Company declared payment of an annual dividend of US$1.20 per ADS1, equivalent to US$0.30 per ordinary share, which will be paid in four quarterly installments of $0.30 per ADS, equivalent to US$0.075 per ordinary share. According to the previously announced record and payment dates, the next quarterly installment will be paid on May 23, 2019 to all shareholders of record on May 9, 2019. Our depository bank’s DR Books will be closed for issuance and cancellation on May 9, 2019.

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From: Elroy5/3/2019 12:14:32 AM
1 Recommendation   of 2782
Wow. SIMO reported Q1. Revenues were $95m and they are guiding Q2 to $103m.

But this sentence is in the press release:

For full-year 2019, management believes it is likely that GAAP and Non-GAAP Revenue could be approximately similar to 2018

That means the average of Q3 and Q4 would be $180m? Hard to believe, but I like the news!

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From: Elroy5/4/2019 3:02:22 AM
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So....I've listened to the SIMO conference call and read the transcript. Interesting times for SIMO, that's for sure.

Lets see. The Good.....

The sale of FCI seems a good thing. It removes about $18m in annual operating expenses, and should increase gross and operating margins, all else being equal.

SIMO didn't buy any stock in Q1, so they have about $9.50 per share cash plus $1.30 per share coming in from the sale of FCI. Lots of cash.

SSD controllers are expected to grow 25% in Q2, and also grow strongly in H2 2019. This is 55% of sales, and is the growth area. Also, higher margins than other SIMO products. SIMO believes it will gain meaningful market share in SSD controllers in 2019, so the internal threat from WDC and now MU is not bothering them all that much. Seems good.

eMMC/UFS controllers shrunk so much in Q1, perhaps much of the decline of this segment has occurred, in Q1 2019, and it's done shrinking. Manamgement indicated the SK Hynix business would remain flat going forward (from low Q1 levels), UFS would grow (from a small base) and Chinese module makers would grow their eMMC + SIMO controller business strongly. So, maybe this segment has bottomed, and going forward it will move up from the low Q1 2019 level? I guess it's good to get the expected decline all out of the way ASAP. Yeah, 45% sequential decline is pretty awful, so hopefully this is flattish or better going forward.

Open Channel systems with the 2 Chinese hyperscale customers seems to be on track. Revenues commence in Q3 2019 hopefully.
Enterprise controllers will have initial sales in H2 2019 (from zero base) and then grow from 2020 on if the program is successul. Lets see, it may take a while, but this is a big greenfield space for SIMO. In 2020 and 2021 this could be a significant business if they do well.

The Bad....

Chinese procurement of enterprise SSD systems (Shannon, Ferri) are weak due to macro internet weakness in China. Fair enough.

The Unbelievable.

SIMO guided full year revenues to be about flat with 2018. So (excluding FCI) that means Q1 = $89m, Q2 is guided to about $103m, and full year 2018 (excluding FCI) was $500m. So H2 2019 revenues for SIMO need to be ~$300m, or $150m per Q. Seriously? Revenues are going to jump ~50% from Q2 to Q3?

SIMO also says H2 visibility is weaker than normal, and their forecast could be completely wrong.


The good thing is due to the removal of FCI the model looks much better from EPS on a lower revenue level. For Q2 we have

Revenues = $104m.EPS = 59 cents.

And if they actually deliver $150m in Q3 (or Q4) on the same expense level ($27.5m without FCI, we get)

Revenues = $150m, EPS = $1.14

Hmmm, so it doesn't seem like it takes that much to get SIMO's EPS run rate back up to about $3.20 per year. If revenues are $122m per Q, they do about 80 cents EPS.

Well, I don't know what to say about them other than they seem to think a massive SIMO revenue pump is on the horizon, so might as well wait and see what they can do.

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To: Elroy who wrote (2044)5/6/2019 6:33:45 PM
From: jmiller099
   of 2782

Shipments of PC HDDs have been hit the hardest among all types of HDDs due to a combination of general market weaknesses and the transition of notebooks to SSDs. According to Nidec, shipments of PC HDDs decreased gradually from 289 million drives in 2013 to 124 million devices in 2018. However, this year sales of hard drives for PCs will drop sharply, going from 124 million devices in 2018 to 65 million units in 2019, or by around 48%.

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From: Elroy5/8/2019 1:16:40 AM
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Strange article. I didn't think NAND flash prices were ever supposed to "rebound". I think the generally either decline slowly (good for NAND makers) or decline quickly (bad for NAND makers). Price increases, or "rebounds" (as we saw in the transition from 2D to 3D flash) are super ucommmon.

NAND flash prices to continue downward trend
Siu Han, Taipei; Jessie Shen, DIGITIMES
Tuesday 7 May 2019

NAND flash prices are showing no signs of rebounding despite optimism about demand recovery in the second half of 2019, according to industry sources.

The sources noted it is generally believed that NAND flash demand for smartphones will be picking up substantially in the second half of 2019. A recovery is also expected to take place in the server and datacenter market in the latter part of this year, playing another catalyst for the memory market growth, the sources continued.

Nevertheless, NAND flash memory prices are expected to continue trending down in the second half of 2019, the sources warned. The prices have already approached cash costs for many manufacturers, but remain under downward pressure, the sources indicated.

This is also hard to believe. Prices may have approached cash costs for NAND produced 9 months ago, but I don't think prices for NAND manufactured today are at cash cost today. The problem is the NAND makers all have lots of old inventory sitting on their balanace sheets.

Global trade conditions are still unfavorable to end-market demand, said the sources, adding that demand from datacenter vendors has also not seen a substantial pick-up. Near-term demand visibility is limited.

NAND flash prices could stop falling in the second half of 2019 if demand from US datacenter vendors pulls in between the latter half of June and July, the sources suggested.

NAND flash prices will continue falling but at a slower pace in the second half of 2019, according to Wallace Kou, president and CEO of Silicon Motion Technology. Falls in the memory prices are expected to narrow to single digits, said Kou.

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From: Elroy5/8/2019 11:37:46 PM
   of 2782
512GB SSDs' Price-per-GB Estimated to Fall Below US$0.1 and Hit an All-time Low This Year End, Says TrendForce

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From: Elroy5/9/2019 6:38:42 AM
1 Recommendation   of 2782
This one is a bit strange. It appears to be SK Hynix announcing some upcoming QLC 4d SSD products, with internally developed controllers. Then the CEO of SIMO is quoted saying "They're great!"??

SK Hynix ships samples of 96-layer 1Tb QLC 4D NAND

SK Hynix has delivered samples of new 1Tb quadruple-level cell (QLC) memory to major SSD controller companies, according to the company.

SK Hynix applies its own QLC technology to 96-layer charge-trap-flash-based 4D NAND flash, said the company, adding that its 96-layer-based 1Tb QLC products will be "in time for the QLC market opening."

Meanwhile, SK Hynix is ??developing its own QLC software algorithm and controller and plans to launch solution products in time to meet client demand, the company indicated.

"We plan to launch our own QLC-based SSD from next year when demand for enterprise QLC NAND is expected to become meaningful," said SK Hynix VP and head of NAND development strategy Han Joo Na in a company statement. "In particular, we intend to establish a solid position in the market for high-density eSSD, which is replacing hard disk drives (HDD), with NAND Flash solutions as large as 16TB (terabytes) or larger."

Also in the same statement, Silicon Motion Technology CEO Wallace Kou noted "we got QLC engineering samples from SK Hynix, and were impressed by its overall performance. The samples meet client SSD product requirements."

Here's another article on the topic......

According to IDC, the proportion of QLC in the NAND Flash market is expected to increase from 3% in 2019 to 22% in 2023, while the eSSD market will grow at a CAGR of 47.9% to rapidly replace HDD during the five-year period.

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From: Elroy5/15/2019 9:06:59 PM
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Really hard to understand how all the NAND makers are gearing up to increase production efficiency and production capacity while NAND sales are near multi-year lows, SSDs are not selling, and.......where the demand!?!?!?!

Chipmakers gearing up for transition to 90/96-layer 3D NAND process technology

Major memory chip vendors are on track to enter mass production of 90/96-layer 3D NAND products in the second half of 2019, according to industry observers.

For consumer electronics devices, 90/96-layer 3D NAND node manufacturing will enable more cost efficiency compared to previous-generation 3D technologies. Chipmakers with their more advanced 90/96-layer processes are also eyeing huge opportunities arising from automotive and data center applications, the observers indicated.

On another front, major NAND flash chipmakers have moved to cut back their 64-layer 3D NAND chip output aiming to bring stability to the memory market, the observers noted. The NAND flash market has been oversupplied causing chip prices to fall further.

NAND flash bit shipments climbed over 40% on year in 2018, thanks to chipmakers' transition to 3D NAND from 2D NAND process technology. And with China's Yangtze Memory Technologies (YMTC) planning to move directly to the 128-layer generation, major NAND chip vendors are set to transition to their 128-layer 3D NAND processes in the second half of 2020, according to the observers.

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