Did MIPS Miss the Boat This Quarter?


MIPS Technologies (NAS: MIPS) was supposed to present a full fourth-quarter earnings release this week. Instead, we had to settle for a preliminary report with revenue of $38.4 million -- and the rest to be presented Aug. 15.

The semiconductor technology researcher blamed the delay on the finalization of "certain expense accruals." Given that the report covers a period ending on June 30, the company already had ample time to calculate whatever accounting artifacts it needed to. I'll be very interested to hear more about these as-yet-undisclosed accruals, and why they demanded such extraordinary measures.

This stock has soared in 2012, gaining 37% while archrival ARM Holdings (NAS: ARMH) dropped 3.5%:

MIPS Chart
MIPS Chart

MIPS data by http://ycharts.com

The two companies are locked in mortal combat over key markets such as mobile computing and chips destined for set-top boxes. ARM is crushing the mobile market so far and powers just about every smartphone and tablet on the market, save a couple of obscure MIPS-based models from China.

Mighty Intel (NAS: INTC) also wants a toehold in tablet computing, but its Atom processors won't really matter in this segment until Microsoft (NAS: MSFT) releases its much-vaunted Windows 8 software this fall. And even then, Mr. Softy made the Windows tablet platform compatible with ARM chips as well.

MIPS didn't provide any detail whatsoever to shine a light on this epic struggle. For what it's worth, analysts were looking for sales of $40.4 million yielding adjusted earnings of $0.34 per share. Even the somewhat disappointing revenue figure is far stronger than the year-ago period's $17.6 million, and MIPS only managed earnings of $0.04 per share that time. So the company is moving in the right direction, but the delay and revenue miss still tell us that something went wrong here.

Add MIPS to your Foolish watchlist and keep an eye out for the full earnings report. In the meantime, you should read up on the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead for sector leader Intel. We've prepared a premium report just for you, and it comes with a full year of updates as the chip market turns. Just click here to get started.

The article Did MIPS Miss the Boat This Quarter? originally appeared on Fool.com.

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