Analog Devices Inc. (ADI)
Morgan Stanley Technology, Media & Telecom Conference
February 26, 2013 4:20 pm ET
David A. Zinsner - Chief Financial Officer and Vice President of Finance
Previous Statements by ADI
» Analog Devices Management Discusses Q1 2013 Results - Earnings Call Transcript
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» Analog Devices Management Discusses Q3 2012 Results - Earnings Call Transcript
So with that out of the way, I'm very pleased to announce from Analog Devices, CFO, Dave Zinsner; and Head of IR, Ali Husain. Thanks, guys, for coming.
David A. Zinsner
So it seems like you guys just reported, it was a January quarter, it seems like you've seen the same patterns in other analog companies. Bookings were weak in the October, November time frame and have since gotten better. Can you talk about how you see that? Where do you think we are in the potential for a semiconductor pickup based on inventories?
David A. Zinsner
Yes. So as you mentioned, we had I'd say weaker orders in November, when we looked back on it. December was clearly weaker particularly because of the shutdowns that occurred at the end of December. And then for the first week of January, again, it was -- it started off kind of weak. But then as the month wore on in January, I'd say things just continually improved. Orders continually got stronger. We kind of went through the lunar new year with a little bit of weakness in Asia, but that picked -- bounced right back and things have been very strong. Our guidance is somewhat reflective of the fact that we do think that, at least as we see it, the kind of cyclical downturn that occurred looks like we kind of hit bottom and have recovered off the bottom. And now it's just a question of whether that's sustainable or not.
Yes. I guess the thing that's puzzled me, and I've gotten this a little bit wrong as we've gotten through the last few quarters, but I felt like this time last year, when there was a pickup, you had just seen a strong inventory reduction from a bunch of your customers. It was very clear that you had the potential for kind of a catch-up base, as you caught up to consumption. I felt like we actually had that, but demand was weak and so that didn't look as exciting as we thought it would earlier in the year. And then now, if I look back at the last couple of quarters, I mean, I felt we entered that period with customer inventories being very lean after several quarters of reduction. So did they get even leaner? Or was it actual demand that fell off? Or just how do you see -- how did that industrial trend get so soft and kind of come back so quickly?
David A. Zinsner
Well, I think it was a combination of, I think, demand got a little weaker, and I think they did try to lean out inventories a little bit further. If you look at kind of the way last year kind of progressed, we kind of had a kind of a correction in the first quarter. It seemed to recover in the second quarter. But I think as we -- as you got into the back half of the year, confidence levels of our customers, which is kind of collectively all the major manufacturers worldwide, I think it got worse. People were worried about what was going on in the U.S. around the fiscal policy. People were worried about Europe because of the issues around southern countries within Europe. There was kind of political change over in China, and a lot of things kind of got halted because of that. So there was just uncertainty across the board in almost every geography. And as a result, most of our customers just kind of cranked their inventories down and slowed down programs and slowed down projects. And if there were build-outs that were going to occur via capital spend, those things got pushed out. And when all those things happened, that ends up being kind of a bit more impactful when you're way at the far end of the supply chain. And so as a result, we saw our business kind of fall off. We had some things that kind of went in our favor in the back half of the year, that kind of kept things a little bit going. But when we kind of struck into the first quarter, it certainly rolled off. And then I think that's the question now for this year is we're back to this kind of situation. We had a first quarter correction, things are recovering. We think we'll have a good second quarter. And it's -- the big question is will we now get the kind of confidence that I think is necessary to really have a decent improvement in the business?
And as to the first statement that you think you're shipping to end demand right now, I know it's hard to be certain.
David A. Zinsner
I think it's difficult to determine at the moment. I clearly think that we weren't in the first [indiscernible]. And in the industrial side, we weren't in the fourth quarter. It does feel like if industrial is up kind of meaningfully this quarter, really the principal driver of the recovery for us sequentially, you would think that we're starting to get back to a level that's closer to equilibrium. There could be customers that are working inventories down further. But I think in general, most people are kind of now at a level of, okay, we're going to kind of keep the status quo, see how things are going. And if the business recovers, end demand starts to recover, we'll start to bring back inventory levels and demand.