They are done. Here is a synopsis of the Barrons article as written by SeekingAlpha.com
Highlighted companies: OmniVision Technologies (OVTI), Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. Ltd. (TSM), Micron Technology Inc. (MU)
Summary: OmniVision Technologies (OVTI) shares slid from $34.50 to $15 since May, despite holding $7/share in cash, and predictions of $1.35/share earnings. OVTI makes image-sensor chips that capture pictures for camera phones, a growing market.It seems Wall Street is not buying-in to OmniVision’s ‘rosy vision’ of the future: 1) High margins in a growing market brought out competition: Micron Technology Inc. (MU) discovered they could produce the CMOS camera chips with the same machines they use for memory chips. In 2004 they devoted only 4% of capacity to imaging products. Last year, 21% of its wafer starts were camera chips, vaulting it into first place out of nowhere ($213M revenue vs. OVTI’s $137). This has attracted even more chip giants to the field like Toshiba, Hynix, and Samsung. 2) OmniVision’s margins, as high as 40% in some periods, are fallingÃ¢â‚¬â€down to 37% last quarter. Amid warnings of flat sales and falling profits, analysts have pegged 33% as a likely margin for coming quarters. 3) Writers such as MarketWatch’s Herb Greenberg have been calling for OmniVision’s demise, citing questionable sales of written-off chip inventories. OVTI has been the subject of many spoilsports; by early 2003, 20 million shares had been sold short. 4) Alpert speculates that since it outsources much of its manufacturing process, the company may have been surreptitiously shifting some manufacturing costs to huge suppliers like Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. Ltd. (TSM), without which margins may have fallen sooner. The company denies any balance-sheet acrobatics.
Quick comment: Miriam Metzinger recently posted highlights from OmniVision’s Q1 2006 earnings conference call. Executives were under relentless attack to explain what the company can do to get margins moving up instead of down. Their answers? See for yourself. Apparently Jim Cramer feels it’s never too late to short a stock that’s down; on Sept. 13 OVTI was one of his Lightening Round Bearish Calls. Faisal Laljee said on June 15 that OVTI was “a real buying opportunity.” It may be, but it’s down another $7+ since then. But then MSN Money‘s John Markman was already bullish when the stock was trading in the high $29s. Well he did get Micron right…