A Better 2012 for Marvell

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The holidays are over, but the party time will likely to continue for ace integrated silicon circuit maker Marvell Technology Group Ltd. (MRVL'>MRVL). The company has a series of new products waiting in the wings. Plus, it has bulked up with a strategic tie-up with leading search engine Google Inc. (GOOG'>GOOG) and a newly acquired entity namely Xelerated AB.

Marvell is now offering 88NV9145 PCIe (Peripheral Component Interconnect Express) SSD controller. The 88NV9145 controller will provide a core building block designed to create native PCIe SSDs in flexible configurations that incrementally scale in cost, capacity and performance.

Marvell is also introducing another PCIe SSD controller, namely Z-Drive R5, in conjunction with OCZ Technology Group Inc. (OCZ'>OCZ). The Z-Drive R5 will expedite performance, reliability and endurance while reducing the cost to deploy high performance solid state storage systems in the data center.

In a separate development, Marvell announced that its ARMADA 1500 HD Media System-on-a-Chip will be featured into Google TV. Marvell chip-powered Google TV solutions will enable powerful products to be brought to market at attractive prices.

Last but not the least, Marvell announced that it completed the acquisition of Sweden -based Xelerated AB, for an undisclosed sum. The company is a developer of network processing and Ethernet switching chips for a variety of telecom equipment.

Xelerated's portfolio of network processor and programmable switches complements Marvell's existing product portfolio and will thereby help Marvell to compete with rivals such as Broadcom Corp. (BRCM'>BRCM) and EZchip Semiconductor Ltd. (EZCH'>EZCH).

Marvell’s reported a mediocre third quarter 2012 result with earnings per share and revenue falling year over year. But the strong mobile and wireless business performance and continuous share buybacks were the positives of the quarter. The fourth quarter guidance reflects mostly the adverse effect of the Thailand flood. But we are pleased with an improving demand situation in China and new product adoption.

Stiff competition in the semiconductor market from major players, such as Intel Corp. (INTC'>INTC), Texas Instruments Inc. (TXN'>TXN) and LSI Corp. (LSI'>LSI), significant number of pending lawsuits, higher material costs and the company’s European exposure will remain as concerns. However, we feel that new product launches, association with Google and synergies from Xelerated acquisition could give the company’s shares a boost.

Currently, Marvell Technology has a Zacks #3 Rank, implying a short-term Hold recommendation.

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