I Love This Audacity

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Shares of media-chip designer Sigma Designs (NAS: SIGM) had been climbing modestly since Black Friday. Investors wanted to believe that strong sales of consumer electronics on the busiest shopping day of the year would bring good news from the component makers inside those gadgets, too.

Alas, it wasn't meant to be. Sigma's third-quarter report is on the books, and the Black Friday gains have evaporated. Wall Street is back to pricing this stock for doomsday scenarios.

Sales were expected to drop, but fell farther than analysts had modeled to $40 million. That's a 49% year-over-year drop. On the other hand, the adjusted net loss of $0.08 per share was much smaller than expected.

Management is shooting for a bigger market share on the back of lower-priced chips that are also cheaper to manufacture. CEO Thinh Tran wants to grab as much real estate as possible in the emerging IP-based media market while the market remains fresh and pliable.

That's a bold move given the caliber of the competition. Set-top boxes are often powered by heavy hitters like STMicroelectronics (NYS: STM) or Intel (NAS: INTC) , as well as more focused competitors Broadcom (NAS: BRCM) and Trident. Most of these rivals have larger war chests and bigger sales forces than Sigma, but the company fights back with a laser-like focus on smaller markets.

And the company is getting some traction with the high-volume move. Specifically, boxes built around the new Sigma chips are coming from Cisco Systems (NAS: CSCO) , Motorola Mobility (NYS: MMI) , Samsung, Tatung, and Pace -- big names in consumer electronics, one and all.

So the company is taking some short-term lumps at the moment to get in position for a brighter future. I'm a big fan of audacity like that, because it often creates outsized investment opportunities. Sigma dares to defy analyst expectations so it can build a better future for itself.

Will Sigma follow through on the promises management is making? To find out, click here to add the stock to your Foolish watchlist.

At the time this article was published Fool contributor Anders Bylund holds no position in any of the companies mentioned. The Fool owns shares of and has bought calls on Intel. The Fool owns shares of and has created a bull call spread position on Cisco Systems. Motley Fool newsletter services have recommended buying shares of Cisco Systems and Intel, as well as creating a bull call spread position in Intel. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinion, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. Check out Anders' holdings and bio, or follow him on Twitter and Google+. We have a disclosure policy.

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