Cypress Semiconductor Is Locked and Loaded

Touch is the new mouse when it comes to mobile.

Behind those capacitive touchscreen interactions sits a touchscreen microcontroller (MCU). Chances are that behind that microcontroller sits Cypress Semiconductor (NYS: CY) , which reported fourth-quarter and full-year 2011 results this morning.

Revenue for the quarter came in at $242.4 million, with non-GAAP earnings per share of $0.32. Both of these figures topped the consensus estimates of $237.1 million and $0.28 per share in profit. Full-year results similarly topped Cypress' internal expectations, with its TrueTouch revenue topping its guided annual range of $230 million to $250 million.

Handset revenues jumped a healthy 140%, thanks to a little thing I like to call "the mobile revolution." OK, other people call it that, too.

Forward-looking guidance was a tad ominous, with Cypress saying continued inventory adjustments and global macro issues continue to weigh. Cypress expects first-quarter sales to fall "at a rate greater than normal." Much of this decline is tied back to underwhelming tablet sales -- the non-iPad ones, that is. The slow start of Google (NAS: GOOG) Android tablets is also holding back fellow touchscreen MCU maker Atmel (NAS: ATML) , even more so since Atmel has an estimated 70% to 80% market share in Android tablets.

Cypress was able to land NVIDIA's (NAS: NVDA) stamp of approval, though, as the latter chipmaker certified Cypress' new single-chip TrueTouch on the reference design for its quad-core Tegra 3 mobile CPU. NVIDIA is a big player in the mobile Android CPU world, with its Tegra 3 powering the first quad-core Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich tablet, the Asus Transformer Prime, so counting it as an ally is an important vote of confidence.

The Consumer and Computation Division (CCD), which includes the touchscreen and programmable system-on-a-chip (PSoC) offerings, continues to be the belle of the ball, growing 30% to $130.7 million in sales. The CCD now makes up more than half of revenue.

Cypress continues to patently duke it out with GSI Technology (NAS: GSIT) . Cypress sued GSI almost a year ago over patent infringement and recently said it expanded its complaint, only to have GSI accuse Cypress of making misleading statements. There aren't any meaningful developments in the case, assuming you don't find PR bickering meaningful.

The company continues to grow its PSoC and touchscreen MCU business, which is largely why I'm a shareholder. Slow Android tablet growth continues to hold back Cypress and Atmel alike, but tablets are a growing pie and Android adoption is inevitable. This thesis may take time to play out, but I have plenty of time on my hands. Until then, Cypress remains locked and loaded.

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At the time thisarticle was published Fool contributorEvan Niuhas sold bullish put spreads on NVIDIA. He owns shares of Cypress Semiconductor and Atmel, but he holds no other position in any company mentioned. Check out hisholdings and a short bio. The Motley Fool owns shares of Google.Motley Fool newsletter serviceshave recommended buying shares of Google, NVIDIA, and Cypress Semiconductor and writing puts in NVIDIA. Try any of our Foolish newsletter servicesfree for 30 days. We Fools don't all hold the same opinions, but we all believe thatconsidering a diverse range of insightsmakes us better investors. The Motley Fool has adisclosure policy.

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