Market Overview

Will Qualcomm and Intel Suffer as Semiconductor Revenue Declines?

In a new report, Gartner (NYSE: IT) reveals that semiconductor revenue declined by three percent in 2012. What does this mean for the top 10 semiconductor manufacturers?

According to Gartner, Intel (NASDAQ: INTC) -- the world's largest chipmaker -- experienced a revenue decline of 2.7 percent. Texas Instruments (NYSE: TXN) was hit even harder; its revenue shrunk by 6.4 percent. Among the publicly traded firms, Micron Technology (NYSE: MU) suffered the most with a revenue decline of 9.3 percent.

They weren't the only firms to suffer. Renesas Electronics, STMicroelectronics, SK Hynix, Samsung and Toshiba also endured revenue declines.

Only two semiconductor firms managed to increase their revenue in 2012: Qualcomm (NASDAQ: QCOM), which is up an astonishing 29.6 percent, and Broadcom (NASDAQ: BRCM), which is up 8.8 percent. Qualcomm's gains were so massive that the company actually jumped three places (from sixth to third) in the semiconductor market. Broadcom gained one spot, moving from ninth to tenth place.

"Uncertainty about the state of the macroeconomy, coupled with ongoing inventory overhang, sent ripples through the semiconductor industry," Steve Ohr, research director at Gartner, said in a company release. "The hardest hit areas include the PC supply chain, memory, analog and discrete components. The PC business, ordinarily a growth driver, was on a negative slope for the first time in many years. PC production declined 2.5 percent in 2012. Even the smartphone juggernaut had begun to show signs of maturing, though it remained the strongest driver for revenue growth in 2012."

Worldwide semiconductor revenue is estimated to be at $298 in 2012 versus $307 in 2011. According to Gartner, the revenue of top 25 semiconductor vendors declined 4.2 percent, which is more than the industry average.

Despite Intel's declines, the company held onto its number-one market share position for the 21st consecutive year. Intel acquired 16.6 percent of the market, setting a new record for the firm.

Samsung's declines are being blamed on three "major product" areas: DRAM, NAND flash and system integrated circuit (IC). The company may also be suffering the fate of its botched relationship with Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL). The iPhone maker is expected to replace Samsung with other suppliers. After that news broke, many wondered how far Apple could get without Samsung in the near-term. However, it seems that Samsung may be hit even harder as its biggest client slips away.

Follow me @LouisBedigianBZ

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