Will OmniVision Turn Rebounding Sales Into Big Profits?

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On Thursday, OmniVision Technologies will release its latest quarterly results. Yet the big question investors are asking is whether the company can truly recover after losing its spot in the lucrative iPhone series of smartphones back in 2011.

OmniVision makes image-sensor devices, making it possible for smartphones to take high-quality digital photos and videos through single image chips. Despite the obvious appeal of the business, OmniVision faces cutthroat competition to earn places in the hottest new mobile devices. Let's take an early look at what's been happening with OmniVision over the past quarter and what we're likely to see in its report.

Stats on OmniVision

Analyst EPS Estimate


Change From Year-Ago EPS


Revenue Estimate

$318.26 million

Change From Year-Ago Revenue


Earnings Beats in Past 4 Quarters


Source: Yahoo! Finance.

Can OmniVision's earnings picture get more focused this quarter?
In recent months, analysts haven't been all that excited about OmniVision's earnings prospects. They've cut a full third off their projections for the April quarter, and they've reduced fiscal 2014 consensus by about 10%. The stock has bounced around, now trading almost 5% lower than it did in late February.

The obvious reason for OmniVision's decline came in early March, when the company gave negative guidance for the April quarter. Even though OmniVision's guidance for revenue of $300 million to $330 million represents a nice increase from the year-ago quarter, it nevertheless was 10% to 20% below where analysts had pegged sales.

Much of the problem likely comes from Apple's recent challenges. Despite Apple going with Sony for its iPhone 4S and iPhone 5 models, OmniVision has retained its camera spot in Apple's iPad tablet lines. That has helped OmniVision's sales bounce back to new records recently, even if it hasn't pushed OmniVision's share price higher. Heavy competition in the tablet arena has hurt Apple's stock lately, and the problem with being heavily reliant on Apple is that OmniVision and other suppliers rise and fall with the iDevice-maker's fortunes.

One potential source of trouble for OmniVision could come from the difficulties that Taiwan smartphone maker HTC has faced lately. Once a dominant Android-phone maker, HTC has largely lost out to rival Samsung, and that represents a potential loss both for OmniVision and rival STMicroelectronics . STMicro arguably could take the bigger hit from further disruptions at HTC, as it provides the primary higher-resolution rear camera rather than the lower-resolution front-facing sensor that OmniVision supplies.

In OmniVision's report, watch for more news about the company's newest low-power HD CameraChip sensor. With power becoming an ever-more important aspect of every component in mobile devices, success with its CameraChip could help OmniVision mount a more convincing rebound in its stock price.

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The article Will OmniVision Turn Rebounding Sales Into Big Profits? originally appeared on Fool.com.

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