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No Surprises In Microchip Technology's (NASDAQ:MCHP) Q1 Sales Numbers, Guides For Strong Sales Next Quarter


Full Report / September 16, 2022
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Analog chipmaker Microchip Technology (NASDAQ:MCHP) reported results in line with analyst expectations in Q1 FY2023 quarter, with revenue up 25.1% year on year to $1.96 billion. Guidance for next quarter's revenue was $2.06 billion at the midpoint, which is 4.86% above the analyst consensus. Microchip Technology made a GAAP profit of $507.2 million, improving on its profit of $252.8 million, in the same quarter last year.

Microchip Technology (MCHP) Q1 FY2023 Highlights:

  • Revenue: $1.96 billion vs analyst estimates of $1.95 billion (small beat)
  • EPS (non-GAAP): $1.37 vs analyst estimates of $1.34 (2.52% beat)
  • Revenue guidance for Q2 2023 is $2.06 billion at the midpoint, above analyst estimates of $1.96 billion
  • Free cash flow of $718.5 million, up 13.4% from previous quarter
  • Inventory Days Outstanding: 127, up from 125 previous quarter
  • Gross Margin (GAAP): 66.7%, up from 64.2% same quarter last year

Spun out from General Instrument in 1987, Microchip Technology (NASDAQ: MCHP) is a leading provider of microcontrollers and integrated circuits used mainly in the automotive world, especially in electric vehicles and their charging devices.

Microchip is a leading provider of microprocessors (MPUs) which are made up of microcontrollers (MCUs) and Digital Signal Controllers (DSCs). Microcontrollers are effectively mini computers on a chip, they consist of a CPU, some memory, an analog chip, and a simple, application specific software that tells the chip what to do.

Microchip’s microcontrollers are low cost customized chips that are in thousands of products. Examples would be automobile engine control systems, implantable medical devices, remote controls, office machines, appliances, power tools, or toys.

Digital Signal Controllers are a variation of microcontroller that measures, filters and/or compresses digital or analog signals. They are used in motor control, power conversion, and sensor processing applications, often in the same types of systems as a microcontroller.

Microchip has a design ecosystem and library of off-the-shelf components that allows its customers to design any kind of custom microprocessor they can think of.

Microchips’ peers and competitors include Texas Instruments (NASDAQ:TXN), Skyworks (NASDAQ:SWKS), Infineon (XTRA:IFX), NXP Semiconductors NV (NASDAQ:NXPI), ON Semi (NASDAQ:ON), Marvell Technology (NASDAQ:MRVL), and Analog Devices (NASDAQ:ADI)

Analog Semiconductors

Longer manufacturing duration allows analog chip makers to generate greater efficiencies, leading to structurally higher gross margins than their fabless digital peers. The downside of vertical integration is that cyclicality can be more pronounced for analog chipmakers, as capacity utilization upsides work in reverse during down periods. Read More The semiconductor industry is broadly divided into analog and digital semiconductors. Digital chips are what most people think of as the brains of almost every electronic device. Their primary purpose is to either store (memory chips) or process (CPUs/GPUs) data. By comparison, analog chips regulate real world signals, such as temperature, speed, sound, or electrical current, converting them into a stream of digital data that can be processed by digital semiconductors. Analog semiconductors are also used to manage power in any electronic device; they convert, store and distribute the electrical energy that comes from a battery or wall plug. Analog chips are found everywhere from household appliances like refrigerators or washing machines, to smartphones, cars and factory production lines.

Sales Growth

Microchip Technology's revenue growth over the last three years has been unremarkable, averaging 10.4% annually. But as you can see below, last year has been stronger for the company, growing from quarterly revenue of $1.56 billion to $1.96 billion. Semiconductors are a cyclical industry and long-term investors should be prepared for periods of high growth, followed by periods of revenue contractions (which can sometimes offer opportune times to buy).

Microchip Technology Total Revenue

This was a decent quarter for Microchip Technology as revenues grew 25.1%, topping analyst estimates by 0.61%. This marks 7 straight quarters of revenue growth, which means the current upcycle has had a good run, as a typical upcycle tends to be 8-10 quarters.

However, Microchip Technology believes the growth is set to continue, and is guiding for revenue to grow 24.9% YoY next quarter, and Wall St analysts are estimating growth 10% over the next twelve months.

Product Demand & Outstanding Inventory

Days Inventory Outstanding (DIO) are an important metric for chipmakers, as it reflects the capital intensity of the business and the cyclical nature of semiconductor supply and demand. In a tight supply environment, inventories tend to be stable, allowing chipmakers to exert pricing power. Steadily increasing DIO can be a warning sign that demand is weak, and if inventories continue to rise the company may have to downsize production.

Microchip Technology Inventory Days Outstanding

This quarter, Microchip Technology’s inventory days came in at 127, 2 days above the five year average, suggesting that inventory has grown to a level slightly above the long term average.

Pricing Power

Microchip Technology's gross profit margin, how much the company gets to keep after paying the costs of manufacturing its products, came in at 66.7% in Q1, up 2.5 percentage points year on year.

Microchip Technology Gross Margin (GAAP)

Gross margins have been trending up over the last year, averaging 65.8%. Microchip Technology's gross margins remain one of the highest in the semiconductor sector, driven strong pricing power from its differentiated chips.

Profitability

Microchip Technology reported an operating margin of 45.5% in Q1, up 3.8 percentage points year on year. Operating margins are one of the best measures of profitability, telling us how much the company gets to keep after paying the costs of manufacturing the product, selling and marketing it and most importantly, keeping products relevant through research and development spending.

Microchip Technology Adjusted Operating Margin

Operating margins have been trending up over the last year, averaging 44.3%. Microchip Technology's margins remain one of the highest in the semiconductor industry, driven by its highly efficient operating model's economies of scale.

Earnings & Competitive Moat

Analysts covering the company are expecting earnings per share to grow 10% over the next twelve months, although estimates are likely to change post earnings.

Microchip Technology has an average return on invested capital (ROIC) of just 8.5%, over the last 5 years. This is fairly low compared to many other semiconductor companies, and suggests the company will have to tie up a lot of capital to achieve significant profit growth..

Key Takeaways from Microchip Technology's Q1 Results

Sporting a market capitalization of $38.2 billion, more than $379.1 million in cash and with positive free cash flow over the last twelve months, we're confident that Microchip Technology has the resources it needs to pursue a high growth business strategy.

We enjoyed the positive outlook Microchip Technology provided for the next quarter’s revenue. And we were also glad to see the improvement in gross margin. Overall, this quarter's results seemed pretty positive and shareholders can feel optimistic. The company currently trades at $63.7 per share.

Is Now The Time?

When considering Microchip Technology, investors should take into account its valuation and business qualities, as well as what happened in the latest quarter. Although we have other favorites, we understand the arguments that Microchip Technology is not a bad business. However, its revenue growth has been very weak, and analysts expect growth rates to deteriorate from there. But while its its return on capital isn't as high as we'd like to see, the good news is its powerful free cash generation enables it to sustainably invest in growth initiatives while maintaining an ample cash cushion.

Microchip Technology's price to earnings ratio based on the next twelve months is 12.7x. We don't really see a big opportunity in the stock at the moment, but in the end beauty is in the eye of the beholder. And if you like the company, it seems that Microchip Technology doesn't trade at a completely unreasonable price point.

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