Radio frequency components maker RF Micro Devices, Inc. (NASDAQ:RFMD) has been growing at a rapid pace, but sadly, its share price performance so far this year does not reflect the same enthusiasm. The stock is up just 10% this year, significantly lagging the performance of the NASDAQ Composite index.
One would be surprised at such a muted performance, especially considering that the company’s revenue in its recently reported first quarter jumped an astounding 45% to a record $293 million, comfortably ahead of the $288 million consensus and the company’s own outlook. In addition, adjusted earnings also improved significantly to $0.09 per share from last year’s $0.01 a share, and once again, ahead of the $0.07 Street estimate.
This stellar performance was not a fluke, as RF Micro Devices, Inc. (NASDAQ:RFMD) reported similar growth when it released its fourth-quarter report in April. Even its outlook was pretty good, with the company projecting revenue of $305 million to $310 million and earnings of $0.10-$0.11 per share, both ahead of consensus estimates at the mid-point.
But despite such terrific performances, the market has not recognized the company’s potential, and it is being held back by certain apprehensions. The stock has been going downhill despite reporting such terrific numbers as certain analysts suggest that its growth won’t be as stellar going forward.
For instance, Barclays analyst Blayne Curtis (via Barrons) states that “We do believe RFMD has executed well but we now see more risk to estimates than upside and believe investors will be unwilling to assign a premium multiple given the uncertainty in the mobile market.”
But, even if RF Micro Devices, Inc. (NASDAQ:RFMD) is facing any sort of uncertainty, its revenue outlook for the current quarter suggests that it would still record year over year growth of 47% when it next releases earnings. But, we are not interested in investing for just one quarter, and on further due diligence, it becomes clear that RF Micro has some more catalysts that should be taken into account.
Firstly, it should be considered that RF Micro Devices, Inc. (NASDAQ:RFMD) is not dependent on just one smartphone maker. While analysts might have cited Samsung’s recent troubles selling its flagship Galaxy S4 and cut down sales projections by 30%, it should be kept in mind that this is a short-term weakness at best. While an inventory correction by Samsung could hurt suppliers like RF Micro in the interim, Samsung would again be back with a new flagship next year, leading to revenue growth for its component suppliers.
Moreover, Samsung is still growing rapidly as far as shipments are concerned, and that’s what should matter for a component supplier. The Korean giant’s unit shipments grew 53% in the second quarter, according to IDC. And now, as Samsung takes the backseat and prepares its next iteration of the Galaxy, Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) will take center stage.
A big opportunity
RF Micro Devices, Inc. (NASDAQ:RFMD) had supplied a couple of chips for the iPhone 5, and it has reason to be doubly excited this time. Apart from the expected iPhone 5S, which is rumored to be released on Sept. 10,recent leaks suggest that a mid-range version of the device, the iPhone 5C, might also be on the way.
Now, a cheaper version of the device might help Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) crack the code in certain emerging markets such as India, where iPhone sales grew 400% in the previous quarter on the back of the cheaper iPhone 4.