Fairchild Reports Mixed Results, Income Down, Sales Up (a little)

April 16, 2014 by Jeff Shepard

Fairchild Semiconductor Corp. announced results for the first quarter ended March 30, 2014. Fairchild reported first quarter sales of $344.1 million, up 1 percent from the prior quarter and slightly higher than the first quarter of 2013. Fairchild reported a first quarter net loss of $9.3 million or $0.07 per diluted share compared to net income of $0.9 million or $0.01 per diluted share in the prior quarter and a net loss of $0.5 million or $0.00 per diluted share in the first quarter of 2013. Gross margin was 30.3 percent compared to 30.9 percent in the prior quarter and 26.9 percent in the year-ago quarter.

Fairchild reported first quarter adjusted gross margin of 30.3 percent, down 100 basis points from the prior quarter but 250 basis points higher than the first quarter of 2013. Adjusted gross margin in past quarters excluded accelerated depreciation related to a line closure. Adjusted net income was $4.9 million or $0.04 per diluted share, compared to adjusted net income of $13.5 million or $0.11 per diluted share in the prior quarter and an adjusted net loss of $2.0 million or $0.02 per diluted share in the first quarter of 2013. See the Reconciliation of Net Income to Adjusted Net Income exhibit included in this press release for more details on the other adjustment items.

"Demand has been robust all year as Fairchild's focus on improving energy efficiency in a wide range of industrial, appliance, automotive and mobile applications accelerates our growth," said Mark Thompson, Fairchild's chairman and CEO. "The strength in orders is broader based than a year ago, especially in the mobile end market. Our current backlog is up 20% from a quarter ago, which when coupled with our lean inventory position enables us to guide for strong sales growth in the second quarter. Demand is very solid for our products supporting the automotive, industrial and appliance end markets. Sales of our products into the computing end market were also higher sequentially as demand recovered from a weak fourth quarter. Mobile demand was flat to the prior quarter which was better than expected. We benefited from content gains on a major new phone platform as well as mid-tier Chinese brands."

"Adjusted gross margin decreased only one point sequentially which was better than expected due to higher factory loadings in the first quarter and improved product mix," said Mark Frey, Fairchild's executive vice president and CFO. "R&D and SG&A expenses were $96.6 million which were higher than forecast due to increased legal spending and additional costs associated with our recent sensor business acquisition. Free cash flow was a negative $5 million for the first quarter. We ended the first quarter with total cash and securities exceeding our debt by $118 million which is lower than a quarter ago due to our recent all cash acquisition of a private sensor company, stock repurchases and normal annual variable compensation expenses."

"We expect sales to be in the range of $355 to $375 million for the second quarter," said Frey. "We expect adjusted gross margin to be 31.0 to 32.0 percent due primarily to higher sales and factory loadings as well as improved product mix which all more than offsets the impact of our merit increase. We anticipate R&D and SG&A spending to be $97 to $99 million due to higher R&D and legal spending as well as the impact of the newly acquired sensor business. The adjusted tax rate is forecast at 15 percent plus or minus 3 percentage points for the quarter. Consistent with our usual practices, we are not assuming any obligation to update this information, although we may choose to do so before we announce second quarter results."