Wednesday, June 18, 2008
[Originally for Sramana Mitra's site]
In the first part of this series, I presented an overview of the company’s various business segments. With that as the background, let us look into the company’s recent financials.
For the fiscal year ending September 30, 2007, Infineon reported net revenues of 7682 million Euros at a gross margin of 20.7% and operating loss of about 3.5%. This is a decrease of 3% from the 2006 revenues of 7929 million Euros. The gross margin for 2006 was 26.2% while the corresponding operating loss was about 3.4%. Much like its European competitor STM, Infineon is also struggling well behind the industry average gross margin of 50.5% and operating margin of 18.6%.
The automotive and industrial business segment contributed 39% of the revenue while the communications segment accounted for about 14%. Qimonda, the struggling subsidiary producing memory chips, contributed close to 50% of Infineon’s 2007 revenues. Almost one third of Infineon’s products are consumed within Europe while Asia-Pacific accounts for another third.
Much of Infineon’s woes are tied to the struggling Qimonda. The commoditization of memory chips has caused their prices to fall considerably. While the cost of owning and operating memory fabs is high, the RoI is just not there due to unfavorable market conditions. Severely impaired in its ability to generate shareholder value, Infineon recently declared its interest in Qimonda as ‘assets held for sale.’ To give more clarity on its core business, the company will now report revenues only from its continuing operations. The potential gains or losses due to the change in the fair value of Qimonda will be reported as discontinued operations. In accordance with this practice, the company wrote off 1.3 billion Euros last quarter.
In the recent quarter that ended March 31, 2008, the company reported net revenues of 1049 million Euros from its core segments. This is an increase of 7% from the corresponding quarter in 2007. The gross margin for the quarter was 35% while the operating margin was about 4.5%.The Qimonda write-off in the balance sheet demonstrates the quandary that Infineon is in. It wants to dilute its stake in Qimonda and get out of the memory business. But apparently, the loss-making subsidiary does not have many takers. Infineon’s handling of Qimonda in the next few years will be an important component of any valuation analysis. It will hence be illustrative to take a look at this relationship in the sequel.