Broadcom declined to provide a full-year forecast, citing limited visibility as it "scrubs" the backlog

Broadcom Inc. late Thursday gave Wall Street analysts quarterly earnings and outlook that beat consensus estimates, raised its dividend and recommitted to buying back shares, but analysts continued to ask for more guidance from the chip and software company.

Late Thursday, Broadcom

forecast revenue of about $8.9 billion for the quarter to the end of January, a 15% increase from a year earlier, while analysts polled by FactSet had expected $8.78 billion.

“Our forecast for the year will be up,” Hock Tan, Broadcom’s chief executive, told analysts on the call. “We’re really booked.” But that was it. Analysts have focused on the backlog of products Broadcom is working its way through.

Given a two-year, pandemic-induced global chip shortage that quickly turned into signs of a glut, Tan reiterated his sales policy to analysts, saying Broadcom was not canceling orders and monitoring its customers for signs of stockpiling.

“We haven’t changed our focus on making sure we’re not sending products to the wrong people who are just putting them on the shelves,” Tan said. Broadcom also won’t comment on how quickly it’s getting through its backlog. On the call, Bernstein analyst Stacey Rasgon asked if the backlog had changed from last quarter’s $31 billion and 50-week lead time. Tan declined to comment.

Providing an annual forecast, Tan refused to give up, repeating that the year will “grow up”.

“Besides, I’m not going to tell you what it is,” he said. Similar to last quarter, Tan defended his positive but vague outlook and said end-market demand was robust.

Broadcom stock

rose 3% after hours, after rising 2.4% in the regular session, to close at $531.08.

Broadcom reported net income for the fiscal fourth quarter of $3.31 billion, or $7.83 per share, compared with $1.91 billion, or $4.45 per share, in the same period last year. Adjusted earnings, which exclude stock-based compensation and other items, were $10.45 per share, compared with $7.81 per share in the year-ago quarter.

Revenue rose to $8.93 billion from $7.41 billion in the year-ago quarter as chip sales rose 26% to $7.09 billion from the year-ago period and infrastructure software sales rose 4 % to $1.84 billion.

Analysts had expected earnings of $10.28 per share on revenue of $8.9 billion. The Street also forecast chip sales averaging $7.04 billion and infrastructure software sales at $1.86 billion.

What Broadcom wanted to talk about was that it had increased its quarterly dividend by 12%, to $4.60 per share, and that it would resume share buybacks with $13 billion in repurchase rights available. Last year, Broadcom promised it would continue $10 billion buyback until the end of 2022

The company also said it expects to close its 61 billion dollars purchase of VMware sometime in fiscal 2023. VMware is a major addition to Broadcom’s software assets, which also include Symantec’s enterprise security business and CA Inc.

Broadcom shares are down 20% year-to-date. By comparison, the S&P 500 index

The tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite fell 17%

is down 29%, and the PHLX Semiconductor Index

has fallen by 31%.

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