Analog, MEMS drive ST's Q4

February 06, 2017 // By Peter Clarke
Chip company STMicroelectronics NV posted financial results in-line with expectations for its fourth quarter of 2016, driven by strength of sales in its analog and MEMS business unit.

ST had fourth quarter revenues of $1.86 billion up 11.5 percent compared with the same quarter a year before. ST reported a net profit of $112 million in the fourth quarter compared with a break-even result in 4Q15. For the full year 2016 ST reported revenues of $6.97 billion up 1.1 percent on $6.90 billion in 2015. The net income increased to $165 million in 2016 from $104 million in 2015.

ST revenue by product groups for fourth quarter and full year. Source: ST.

The analog and MEMS group (AMG) reported Q4 sales of $436 million and increase of 17.8 percent on the same quarter a year before. ST put the positive results down to developments such as gaining market share for its 6-axis inertial measurement unit, gyroscope for optical image stabilization and pressure sensors in smartphones and wearables.  At the same time its strategy of moving its MEMS expertise into automotive and industrial markets was followed with what ST described as "strong demand" for multi-axis gyroscope for car navigation systems.

Sold out MEMS

"In our MEMS sensor business, revenue progression was significant in the fourth quarter of 2016, increasing over 30 percent compared to the year-ago period," Carlo Bozotti CEO of ST, told financial analysts in a conference call. One financial analyst, Lee Simpson, senior equity research analyst at Stifel Financial Corp., said that according to a prior briefing it was known that ST's MEMS production was fully allocated throughout the second half of 2016. ST executives did not challenge the assertion.

ST's automotive and discrete group (ADG) reported revenues of $716 million for the fourth quarter, an increase of 12.4 percent on the same quarter a year before. Meanwhile the microcontrollers and digital group (MDG) was the weakest performer in ST. It's Q4 revenue of $610 million was below the $614 million recorded for 4Q15. However, ST did release a 28nm FDSOI ASIC to production for a customer.