Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Calls of Note Part 1

- Couple of firm have interesting comments on the handset mkt this morning:

*Deutsche Bank notes that for the overall handset market in Q3, July was a strong month, August showed normal seasonality, and if September is normal, we can expect a strong overall Q3. Based on this, the firm remains comfortable with their handset unit shipments of 965 million for CY06.

Motorola (NYSE:MOT) continues to increase its market share and makes inroads into
its competitor's space. In Q3, they predict MOT taking away share from its competitors (including Nokia). The company continues to lead the way in innovative handset designs and its new product line should help drive further gains.

Firm's channel checks indicate Silicon Labs (NASDAQ:SLAB) original estimate of up to 1
million shipments of its AeroFone for FY06 may be optimistic. It appears that the product is having issues with the higher layer software supporting its chipsets. This glitch will likely impact overall shipments and hence we could only see shipments in the 100 K
to 200 K range for FY06.

*Piper Jafray says that according to their checks, Motorola's (NYSE:MOT) RAZR continued to be mentioned as a top- selling phone at both T-Mobile and Cingular channels. Firm's checks indicated the iTune-enabled RAZR V3i should be available at Cingular this week, and they believe this newer version of RAZR should enable Motorola to maintain leadership at this key channel.

While checks noted slight Motorola share losses at Verizon and Cingular due to new product launches by competitors, they believe Motorola maintained its dominant market share in North America. Further, with Sprint introducing new thin Motorola products such as the Q, KRZR, and RAZR during Q406 combined with the launch of several new Motorola products for the leading North American carriers this holiday season, they believe Motorola should maintain and may even grow its dominant North American market share during Q406.

Due to increasing confidence in Motorola continuing to gain global market share during 2007, the firm has raised their 2007 EPS estimate from $1.50 to $1.56. Tgt goes to $27 from $26. Maintains Outperform rating.

* Piper also has interesting comments on Nokia (NYSE:NOK) saying that based on their monthly handset channel checks, they believe Nokia's August sell-through trends remained weak in North America, mainly due to the lack of new product introductions.

Firm was disappointed to learn Cingular stores still do not have the 6126, as it appears this thinner clam shaped Nokia phone remains stuck in testing. With the KRZR coming from Motorola and other new products shipping for the holiday season, they believe the 6126 may have already missed its window of opportunity with Cingular. However, Nokia's 6102i and 6103 were still mentioned favorably at Cingular and T-Mobile stores, respectively, and sales of these models may have made up for some of the potential missed sales due to problems with the 6126.

While Nokia's overall market share in North America continues to lag its global market share, they believe solid Nokia trends in Western Europe and healthy sales in other global markets such as India and China should offset the weakness in North America. In fact, the firm believes Nokia's September quarter continues to track in line with estimates. Maintains Outperform and $27 tgt.

Notablecalls: Think MOT may see some mild buy interest following the call. The checks on NOK are a bit negative but the downside seems to be limited. The most interesting comment is the SLAB one. While AeroFone isn't a huge rev driver yet, it is expected to account as much as 10% of C07 revs. Suspect SLAB shares may have some downside in them over the next couple of days.

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