Should Dialog Semiconductor Be Causing a Big Apple Sell-Off Before Earnings?

Investors will use whatever data they can grab a hold of if they think it matters. The question to ask on Monday is whether a tech giant like Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL) should be selling off on what may be an obscure chip company’s negative news.

Dialog Semiconductor released a preliminary report on its third-quarter interim results, via Business Wire, in London. The press release showed that a final version will be made on October 28. Dialog’s ordinary shares on the XETRA were down 20.5% at €32.31 on Monday, taking its market cap down to €2.44 billion. Is this a case of the tail wagging the dog?

What matters here is that Dialog is a supplier to Apple, and the bulk of the company’s revenues are said to be tied to Apple. CNBC noted that Apple represents about three-quarters worth of Dialog’s revenue.

Year-on-year revenue growth in the third quarter was said to be 18%, increasing profitability and cash flow generation. Its International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) revenue was shown to be up 18% over the third quarter of 2014 at $330 million, but that was up a mere 4% on a sequential basis.

For those who are not as familiar with Dialog Semiconductor, this is the company that is acquiring Atmel Inc. (NASDAQ: ATML). Dialog gave guidance for the fourth-quarter based on its current visibility: revenue in the range of $430 million to $460 million, and at the mid-point that would generate full-year revenue of $1.402 billion (up 21% over 2014).

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Due to the reaction in Dialog overseas, Atmel shares were last seen down 10% at $7.75. The company noted of its acquisition announcement in September:

Based on the closing price of EUR 37.19 per Dialog share as of 14 October 2015 and a Euro to U.S. Dollar exchange ratio of 1.114, the value of the consideration to be received by Atmel shareholders for each Atmel share would be the economic equivalent of $9.41 per Atmel share and would imply a total equity value of approximately $4.1 billion.

Maybe the real issue for Apple is that shares were up 3% on Friday due to strong earnings reports from other technology giants. The Apple refresh for the iPhone 6s was only a few days of the last quarter, so most of the bump is going to be in the fourth quarter (calendar quarter that is).

Apple reports earnings after the close on Tuesday. One issue that was reported at 24/7 Wall St. over the weekend was that a downside earnings report could take out as much as 20% of Apple’s share price. That being said, the odds of an extreme reaction like that are obviously and admittedly low.

Another cautionary view may be that Cowen maintained a Hold rating and $135 price target on Apple this Monday. That is $13.50 or so shy of the consensus price target, and most analysts still have equivalents of Buy or Outperform ratings.

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Apple shares were down 2.9% at $116.60 with just over three hours until the market closes on Monday. Its 52-week range is $92.00 to $134.54.

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