Financial Performance

Broadcom Beats Estimates, Chip Sales Fall 5%

The company expects its chip business "will continue to operate in a “very low growth, uncertain macro environment” for the foreseeable future.
Matthew HellerSeptember 13, 2019

Broadcom beat analysts’ estimates for the third quarter but delivered cautious full-year guidance amid weak semiconductor demand and trade uncertainty.

The chipmaker said it earned an adjusted $5.16 a share as sales rose 9% to $5.52 billion. Analysts had expected earnings of $5.11 a share on sales of $5.5 billion.

Revenue from Broadcom’s semiconductor solutions segment fell about 5% to $4.35 billion from a year ago.

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“Our broad portfolio of mission critical semiconductor and infrastructure software solutions, utilized by the world’s largest enterprises, continued to drive sustained revenues and robust cash flow despite a challenging market backdrop,” CEO Hock Tan said in a news release.

As Reuters reports, “The chip industry has been in a slowdown with research firm Gartner forecasting a 9.6% drop in global semiconductor revenue to $429 billion in 2019. U.S.-China trade tensions, including tariffs on some products and the restrictions on sales to Huawei, have been pressuring chipmakers.”

Tan said semiconductor demand had “bottomed out” but Broadcom is managing its chip business with an expectation that it will continue to operate in a “very low growth, uncertain macro environment” for the foreseeable future.

“Fortunately, the fundamentals of our semiconductor business remain strong,” he told analysts in an earnings call, adding that “we continue to benefit from the underlying trend [toward connectivity] in the IT world and [the] insatiable need for increasing bandwidth to connect things.”

For the full 2019 year, the company reiterated its guidance of $22.5 billion in sales, with $17.5 billion of that coming from semiconductors and $5 billion from infrastructure software. Wall Street was expecting full-year sales of $22.62 billion.

“Our industry checks point to a modest demand recovery in the second half of 2019 but we think it is appropriate for Broadcom to provide a cautious outlook at this juncture due to the uncertainty caused by the trade friction,” Summit Insights Group analyst Kinngai Chan said.

Broadcom’s infrastructure software revenue more than doubled to $1.14 billion in the third quarter.