Why Silicon Motion Technology Shares Popped

Although we don't believe in timing the market or panicking over market movements, we do like to keep an eye on big changes -- just in case they're material to our investing thesis.

What: Shares of Silicon Motion Technology rose more than 10% during intraday trading after the company announced better-than-expected earnings results.

So what: Quarterly net sales came in at $57.1 million, which translated to adjusted earnings per diluted share of $0.32. For reference, analysts were looking for significantly lower adjusted earnings of $0.23 per share on slightly higher sales of $57.99 million.

Going forward, Silicon Motion also said it expects fourth-quarter revenue to be down 6% to 12% sequentially, or in the range of $50.25 million to $53.67 million. Curiously enough, that's well below analysts' estimates for Q4 sales around $58.14 million.

Now what: To their credit, management weighed in to explain that drop is largely due to a seasonal decline for the company's eMMC controllers, as well as their transition out of the LTE product business.

That said, management also asserted that the company is positioned nicely for growth in the first half of 2014, thanks not only to incremental sales of its eMMC controllers but also the introduction of its new SATA II client SSD controllers and LTE-Advanced receivers. If Silicon Motion can indeed deliver on that growth, I think shares could still look like a bargain trading at just 12 times last year's earnings and 11.7 times next year's estimates.

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