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Omnivision: Seeing Value

September 12, 2011 | About:

Omnivision Technologies (NASDAQ:OVTI) designs and sells chips that capture digital images. These chips are used in cameras, smartphones, tablets, PCs and a slew of other devices. In just the last two months, the company has lost half of its market value, even though it is well capitalized and trades at a single-digit P/E.

Omnivision trades for $1 billion, despite having $500 million in net cash and $130 million of earnings in its most recent fiscal year. The sharp fall in the stock price is largely related to a reduced outlook for the current quarter, as unanticipated delays for new product launches are expected to reduce near-term profits.

When the market focuses on the short-term, this is precisely when value investors should look to strike. This appears to be a classic case of a short-term leaning market. However, before jumping in, value investors should recognize a few risks that make Omnivision a less-than-ideal investment.

Because the company operates in a field constantly undergoing change, the company's earnings power is difficult to determine. Though the company has managed to pull off solid returns some years, it has also had a few poor ones. Omnivision has to constantly cut its costs, innovate and push volume in order to remain competitive. Lately, things have gone relatively well for the company, but that can always change.

This industry is also characterized by its falling prices and reliance on just a few customers. Omnivision's top two customers make up 30% of its revenue, and its top 5 customers represent 55% of its revenue. Since competition is fierce in this industry, where Omnivision battles companies with large resources such as Sony and Samsung, it's entirely likely that the company could lose one or more of its revenue streams. For example, if Apple decides to replace Omnivision's chips with a competitor's in a next-generation iPad, profits would take a major hit.

Finally, much of the mass-manufacturing of these products is done overseas. While this allows the company to take advantage of less restraining tax regimes (as compared to those of the US), it does mean that a large part of the company's cash balance would be subject to repatriation taxes if returned to shareholders.

Omnivision is a profitable company with a strong record of returns that is well capitalized. However, there are some risks investors should look out for, some of which could serve to reduce the company's value considerably.

Disclosure: No position

About the author:

Charlie Tian, Ph.D. - Founder of GuruFocus. You can now order his book Invest Like a Guru on Amazon.

Rating: 5.0/5 (2 votes)


Cdavissr - 6 years ago    Report SPAM

People said the same thing about Intel...Microsoft...Apple....etc etc. Such analysis is without merit.

Obviously there is more to the problems than that...or there are some severe negative articles that have been written or preceived. The earning may sloiw in coming quarter or two but will still be better than the majority of stocks and while mid 30s may be overpriced ..18 is under priced....unless there is a real problem...maybe tech is licenced and can be lost etc etc.

Regards Chet
Ranjitsudan - 6 years ago    Report SPAM
I think dynamics of the industry is such that earning will vary qtr to qtr. Omnicare has to manufacture their product based on product design prescribed by vendor. This process could take upto 3-12 month, therefore revenue recognition could fluctuate on quaterly basis. This mentioned in the 10Q. One should consider this in his valuation.

However, I think it is attractively priced. Might go long at 5x TTM earning which is around 9-10$ a share.

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