ARM quarterly profits up 45% year/year

Posted by Charbax – January 31, 2012

ARM just published their Q4 2011 numbers:

Q4 2011 – Financial Summary
Q4 2011 Q4 2010 % Change
Revenue ($m) 217.0 179.6 21%
Revenue (£m) 137.8 113.9 21%
Operating margin 48.2% 41.1%
Profit before tax (£m) 69.0 47.6 45%
Earnings per share (pence) 3.71 2.90 28%

Warren East, Chief Executive Officer, said:

"In Q4 and throughout 2011 ARM has seen strong licensing growth, driven by market-leading semiconductor companies increasing their commitment to ARM technology, and more new customers choosing ARM technology for the first time. We have also seen our royalty revenue continue to grow faster than industry revenues as the ARM Partnership gains share in our target markets.

2012 will bring exciting opportunities and challenges as ARM enters competitive new markets where we are well positioned to succeed with leading technology, an innovative business model and a thriving ecosystem of Partners. As our customers are designing more ARM technology into their widening product portfolios, ARM is investing in the development of new products. These products will drive further long-term growth in our revenues, profits and cash."

Since I started this blog on January 1st 2010 (I was before video-blogging at since 2004), the ARM stock has gone up 343%.

  • Anonymous
  • Sprewell

    One interesting revelation in the recent Jobs biography is that he actually wanted to go with Intel for Apple’s mobile devices also.  However, some other Apple executives pitched a fit and told him that Intel couldn’t get their power budget down and that ARM was the only way to go to get decent battery life. Steve was torn but eventually acquiesced.  It is interesting how he gets all the credit from the dumb tech press for Apple’s recent staggering success, when his biography is filled with blatantly stupid choices that he wanted but that his executive team argued him out of.  For example, he didn’t want to have third-party apps at all on the iPhone but they forced that decision on him, which he only agreed to if Apple could carefully select what apps could get on his beloved phone.  Hence the crazy approval process that the App store is saddled with to this day.

  • Sprewell

    As for this financial data, it is amazing how little money ARM makes from their chips, $900 million/year, albeit with a fat 50% margin, is not much for how completely they dominate mobile devices.  I read a comment once on some tech site where some guy said that ARM’s real advantage is that they’re using a new business model, sucking all the profits out of the chip sector by drastically undercutting Intel.  If they’re still able to make these healthy margins and do it at little cost, good for them, but the fact that their revenues aren’t that great does open ARM up for competition also, as it wouldn’t take much investment for someone to come along and copy their cheaper model.

  • I don’t think so. Apple represents 50-100 million ARM Processors per quarter. ARM licensed over 1.2 billion ARM processors during that quarter. The CEO says that most of its growing profit and revenue comes from a growing number of ARM licensors, for example pretty major semiconductor companies such as Panasonic, LG, Huawei, Renesas, Microsoft, all make major new licensing deals with ARM recently. It’s also likely that there are yet unannounced licensing deals for the high-end Cortex series from other major semiconductor companies such as Sony, Toshiba, Epson, Sharp, basically every major company in the world wants to make their own high-end ARM Processor. I also think it’s likely that Intel wants an ARM license, it’d be stupid of Intel not to have one.

  • Over 5 billion ARM Processors are shipped per year. It’s about the ecosystem, it makes no sense for companies to start using a competitor. ARM is priced appropriately. As you can calculate the license is less than $0.2 average per ARM Processor made and sold. They are using their profits for R&D in future ARM Processors and all the licensors are happy about that and they even mostly want to help ARM make sure future ARM technology is the best. It’s kind of like an open source processor technology, open only for licensors to contribute towards, if a licensor contributes something major they probably get a rebate on the royalty and licensing for a while.

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