QLogic's first fiscal 2010 revenues were 27 per cent down at $122.8m with net income down 53 per cent to $15m - but at least it was a profit.
Comparisons with the year-ago quarter are all bad. Host products revenues - the HBAs - showed a 27 per cent drop to $88.3m, network products - FC and InfiniBand switches - recorded a 16 per cent drop to $25.0m, and silicon products fell 52 per cent to $7.4m.
Compared to the previous quarter, though, the results are much better. H K Desai, QLogic's CEO, said: "On a sequential basis, revenue from host products and netware products was flat and revenue from silicon products was down 46 per cent.
He thinks the financial outlook is improving: "Despite the fact that we continue to experience effects of the broad macroeconomic slowdown, we are encouraged by the signs of stability we are seeing. This includes a number of factors.
"First, we are seeing signs of stability in our business with our key OEM customers. Second, variety of spending in the second half of our calendar year 2009 and 2010 has stopped eroding and in certain cases has started to improve."
According to the earnings call transcript, Desai reckons QLogic has the largest installed base of Fibre Channel HBAs, with the lead increasing in the quarter: "QLogic achieved over 56 per cent revenue market share in Fibre Channel adaptors, a full 19 point lead over our nearest competitor (Emulex). This is the widest lead we have in our history."
He asserts that this installed base represents a great opportunity for QLogic's Converged Network Adapters (CNA) that run the Fibre Channel over Ethernet (FCoE) protocol. Customers will also need more and better adapters as they refresh their servers to take advantage of Intel Nehalem chips and virtualisation.
Desia sees much better financial weather ahead: "We are seeing clear signs of stableness within our business and this is reflected in the revenue performance of our host and network products in the first fiscal quarter and in our revenue guidance for the September quarter."
The guidance is for the next quarter's revenues to be $123m - $127m, which would be down 26 per cent - 28 per cent year-on-year but much better sequentially. QLogic, like Seagate, sees the recession bottoming out. But Desai sees flat revenues in the silicon business over the next three or so quarters.
A rise in SAS hard drive shipments will probably reduce demand for FC to SATA bridge chips and so affect QLogic's silicon business.
Analysts asked if Desai would consider licensing QLogic's FCoE technology to a competitor, meaning Broadcom, hungry for FCoE technology after being rebuffed in its Emulex takeover attempt. He replied: "If they can give us a billion dollars, I probably can license my Fibre Channel. I’m talking billion, not million." ®