Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Calls of Note Part 4

- CIBC is reiterating their Sector Outperformer rating on Trident Micro (NASDAQ:TRID), while raising CY07 ests. & introducing CY08 forecast. Following a seasonal CY1Q, they expect TRID's image processing lead, peerless mid/high-range decode economics, & superior growth prospects, will be quite evident, to value & growth investors alike.

TRID has been under undue and incessant pressure for the past 3Qs, due to confusion over competition (BRCM, Mediatek, ZRAN, & ATI--non of which really compete with TRID), TRID's reticence (due to options-related 10K/Q delinquencies), and naturally declining, yet still sublime, gross margins.

In the report, the form elucidates why they believe investors & the cacophony of boorish bears are totally wrong about TRID, and why it will be a steal beyond C1Q:

- Firm believes that thus far, not a single Broadcom win has come at TRID's expense

- TV markets are bifurcating and TRID has laid claim to the mid to high end as others such as Taiwan Inc. battle at the low end.

- In spite of inevitable erosion, Trident s Gross and Operating Margins are still well-above the average (within the Digital Media Semiconductor peer group) and, as such, TRID should trade at a premium valuation rather than at a 30%+ discount. While gross margins are definitely coming down, and will likely see a high-4- handle in CY08, the firm believes that Trident should be an exception to the rule.

- TRID is on track to put its options review and management succession issues behind it in short order.

Along these lines, the firm increased their CY07 est. to $1.32 on $325M from $1.30/$320M, and established CY08 ests. of $1.80 on $450M. At ~13 new CY07E EPS of $1.32, TRID trades ~33% below peers' 20x. On the contrary, they believe TRID deserves a premium valuation, given its expanding domination of Tier-1 image processing (adding Philips in C2Q), and its growing- likelihood of similar success in HD decode during CY08.

Reits Sector Outperformer and $25 tgt.

Notablecalls: Would not be surprised to see some buy interest following the call. But also but sure to check out comments from TXN.

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