ARMH : NASDAQ : US$48.48
ARM : LSE
ARM is a leading semiconductor IP supplier to the diverse global
semiconductor market. ARM’s revenues are driven through a
licensing and royalty business model, with a majority of the
royalty sales driven by the mobile market including handsets,
smartphones, and tablets. ARM also supplies semiconductor IP to
the server, PC, and embedded markets and physical
implementation libraries and IP to semiconductor foundries.
Technology — Communications Technology — Semiconductors
INVESTOR CALL WITH MANAGEMENT; ARMV8
SHOULD DRIVE ROYALTY RATE EXPANSION
ACROSS MULTIPLE MARKETS, TIERS
We participated in an open investor call on ARMv8 with Nandan Nayampally, ARM’s VP of Marketing for the CPU Group.
This note summarizes key points from the call. Since Apple’s A7 processor
announcement in September, the evolution of the 64-bit ARMv8 ecosystem
within the mobile market has progressed even more quickly than we had
anticipated. In fact, following Qualcomm and MediaTek both announcing
broad ARMv8 mobile roadmaps at MWC to include mid-tier smartphone
chips, we believe the path toward 64-bit smartphone/tablet ubiquity across
all tiers is well underway. Further, we believe ARMv8 opens new markets
including server and enterprise networking where ARM is less than 10%
penetrated today and ASPs tend to be much higher than in mobile. Given our
belief that near-term mobile royalty seasonality is well understood and
reflected in consensus estimates, we recommend investors accumulate ARM
shares ahead of reaccelerating royalty growth trends during 2H/14 and
2015. We reiterate our BUY rating and raise our price target to $60.
We believe ARM’s newest architecture, ARMv8, will both materially
increase the base royalty profile of ARM’s incumbent markets and open
new and equally large market opportunities including server and
enterprise networking where ARM has minimal market share today and
that should yield royalty rates at 2%+, or above the corporate average.
In addition, given we believe ARMv8’s licensing applicability could be
broader than ARMv7 with the inclusion of these new markets, we believe
ARMv8 is still in the early innings of the licensing opportunity with
roughly 30 licenses to 20 companies today where ARMv7 has been
licensed 130+ times to roughly 80 companies.
Our more detailed analysis of the ARMv8 architecture, including its
features and market applicability, and incremental licensing and royalty
revenue opportunities for ARM, is discussed at length in our September
19th ARM 64-bit white paper titled “ARM’s 64-bit smartphone coup:
Apple accelerates timing for higher royalties”.
Valuation: Our $60 price target is based on shares trading at roughly 38x our
2015 normalized EPS/ADS estimate and our royalty stream DCF.