By any measure, 2014 was a difficult year for Chinese fabless semiconductor vendor Actions Semiconductor Co. Ltd. Wafer supply shortages, flat demand and persistent competition in the tablet market contributed to the company reporting readuced revenue for the year.
But Actions hopes for better results in 2015.
Actions (Shanghai) reported sales of $50.3 million for 2014, down substantially from the $69.4 million that the company reported for 2013. Revenue for the fourth quarter of 2014 was $13.9 million, up from the third quarter of $13.1 million but down from the $17.6 million from the same quarter one year ago. Actions also recorded a net loss of $30.4 million for the year and a negative gross margin of 19.2 percent for the fourth quarter.
Actions blamed the sales decline on the lingering effects of a supply shortage for wafers for multimedia products from its foundry and intense competition in the global tablet market space as well as corporate restructuring that took place during the fourth quarter.
Dr. Zhenyu Zhou, CEO of Actions Semiconductor, called 2014 a “challenging year." He said Actions is committed to investing in the future and expects “to generate strong results in the year ahead.”
Zhou said the recent launch of new 28nm chipsets would allow Actions “to compete more effectively in the application processor market” for tablets, over-the-top (OTT) set-top boxes (STBs) and other cloud connected devices, Zhou said.
These chipsets, along with a new single-chip Bluetooth 4.0 product should help the company move “beyond tablets into new and profitable growth markets,” Zhou said. As a result of these products, Zhou said Actions is targeting revenue growth of 20 percent to 25 percent and solid margin improvements in 2015.
Looking ahead to the first quarter of 2015--traditionally a slow quarter due to seasonality and the Chinese New Year--Actions forecasts revenue to be in the range of $9.5 million to $11.5 million. Following the first quarter, Actions said it expects sales volumes to begin to ramp due to the launch of its new devices.
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