back to article ARM wrestles analysts' guesses to floor after slurping IP Kool-Aid

The first three months of 2015 have been good to ARM, which saw revenues of $348.2m and pre-tax profits of $120.5m in the first quarter, with 3.8 billion ARM-based chips shipped - or more than 450 chips per second. That’s an increase of 14 per cent on revenue and 24 per cent on profit – well ahead of what analysts predicted, …

  1. mevets

    crumpled napkins...

    3.8 B per quarter is about 2 chips per soul per year. Is this meant to be sustainable?

    It is reminiscent of when Lucent, in an earnings announcement, claimed that they were laying fibre at the speed of sound. It foreshadowed the great optical rout of 2001.

    1. Salts

      Re: crumpled napkins...

      My sentiments are more -- British company doing well, as a great man once said "Advance, Britannia"

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: crumpled napkins...

      "3.8 B per quarter is about 2 chips per soul per year. Is this meant to be sustainable?"

      Depends.

      When it's cheaper to put an ARM into (e.g) your toaster than it is to do it with discrete components, it probably is sustainable, given the number of consumer and professional electronic devices in the world, and the rate at which they are replaced.

      Whether the replacement rate is a *good* thing, whether that is sustainable, is a separate question.

      Toaster isn't meant as a serious example, but I struggle to find a non-trivial consumer appliance in the house, or a non-trivial bit of kit at work (electronics and related stuff, from design to manufacturing and support) which doesn't have at least one little computer in it. Obviously phones, routers, TVs, etc do. Washing machine: yes. Fridge+freezer: maybe. Digital radio: probably. Oscilloscope? Probably. Machine tool? Probably. "Smart" diagnostic tool? Probably.

      Or what about cars: what's in the many computers in a vehicle these days? If it needs more power than an 8051, and various regulations and infotainment functions mean it probably does, then what?

      Even your PC has ARMs as well as x86s. They're just not so visible.

      So, it's probably plausible.

  2. James Cane

    Crazy

    I'm trying to think of another company which is so small but which has such massive global impact. $348M in the quarter? That's barely a billion dollar company.

    I continue to be amazed that none of the big giants have bought them out to shut off chip supply to the competition.

    1. Victor Ludorum

      Re: Crazy

      ARM is listed and has a market cap of over £16Bn/$25Bn. That would use up a lot of Apple's cash pile (especially after they've paid 35% tax to bring the cash back onshore), and they would have to pay a premium (up to 50%?) on the share price to sway the major shareholders. Not to mention Samsung and many others would probably find some way to club together to stop a major takeover...

      1. bazza Silver badge

        Re: Crazy

        I don't think any of the major players will ever be able to buy ARM. The competition regulators all over the world would have a hard time saying why it would be ok for, say, Apple to buy ARM at the expense of everyone else.

        That kinda suits everyone. ARM don't make mobiles and so don't threaten their customers' business. ARM benefit from a large licensing market, and their customers benefit from a large pool of engineers who know ARM's designs inside out. Their customers know that they don't have to make a preemptive and costly acquisition of ARM because non of their competitors can acquire it.

        So by being indispensable ARM are effectively invulnerable to a take over. I have no doubt that if, say, Samsung came along and offered a large wodge of cash for the company the ARM shareholders would be tempted but wouldn't be allowed to sell to them. However they are earning their money the old fashioned way: dividends. There's a few companies out there that could learn from that...

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    No mention of "contra revenue" here then?

    There's another company who think they're a player in SoCs.

    In the last set of results I'm aware of, they lost $4Billion or so on SoCs.

    Converted into a "loss per SoC sold" it was around $100 (because they've been using "contra revenue", ie massive payments to system builders, to get their chips used at all).

    Then they re-organised so their SoC sector accounts wouldn't be published separately from the rest of their accounts.

    Anyone guess who it is yet?

    1. bazza Silver badge

      Re: No mention of "contra revenue" here then?

      Is it the Big I, or the little A?

      1. bazza Silver badge

        Re: No mention of "contra revenue" here then?

        The website revealed it to be the big I...

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