Light Reading

More Cuts at PMC-Sierra

Light Reading
News Analysis
Light Reading
1/17/2003
50%
50%
Repost This

The wheel of layoffs has come full circle, as PMC-Sierra Inc. (Nasdaq: PMCS) -- one of the first semiconductor companies to make major cuts at the start of the downturn -- is having another go.

PMC executives announced yesterday they'll be cutting 16 percent of the company's 1,099 employees, slashing annual expenses by $25 million to $28 million (see PMC-Sierra to Cut Another 16%). Charges related to the restructuring will appear in PMC's earnings statements for the March and June quarters of 2003.

PMC also announced it would write down $20 million to $25 million related to the decreased value of venture investments, inventories, and some fixed assets.

The announcement came late yesterday afternoon, possibly because Wall Street rumors about the restructuring had spread during the day. PMC officials were not immediately available for comment.

Analysts weren't surprised by the layoffs, saying it was apparent that PMC was going to need an extra nudge to become profitable.

"According to published numbers, the company was not going to break even until 2004," says Arnab Chanda, analyst with Lehman Brothers. "This just tells you the business has not improved, and it's going to be tough for a while."

"Bob Bailey [PMC's CEO] has always been forthright about this," says Jeremy Bunting, analyst with Thomas Weisel Partners. "He was saying, 18 months or two years ago, that he'll do anything it takes to make the company profitable."

Analysts give PMC credit for being one of the first companies to react early and swiftly to the downturn, the other being JDS Uniphase Corp. (Nasdaq: JDSU; Toronto: JDU). In 2001, PMC rethought some of its pricey acquisitions of the previous two years, halting future development of the TinyTera switch fabric from Abrizio and scuttling products from Extreme Packet Devices and Malleable Technologies.

The hope had been to reach profitability by the first quarter of 2003, but the market hasn't cooperated. "Early in '02, there was an expectation that some of the metro stuff was going to move, but that hasn't happened," Bunting says. "As we enter into '03, telecom continues to be moribund."

There's an interesting contrast between PMC's approach and that of TranSwitch Corp. (Nasdaq: TXCC), which announced layoffs of 25 percent yesterday (see TranSwitch Q4: Losses, Layoffs). While PMC dropped products, TranSwitch did the opposite, taking on more R&D costs with the acquisitions of Onex and Systems on Silicon Inc. (see TranSwitch Harvests Startup, TranSwitch Buys Systems on Silicon, and Onex Chip Sees Light of Day).

Of course, TranSwitch made cuts too – a total of 133 employees during 2001 and 2002. But the effect on expenses hasn't been the same. Bunting's numbers show that during the downturn, PMC's revenues fell as much as 77 percent from their peak, while TranSwitch's fell 94 percent. But PMC's operating expenses dropped as much as 44 percent from their peak, while TranSwitch's dropped only 12 percent.

"In a sense, TranSwitch moved to preserve technology by putting it on the op-ex [operating expenses] line," Bunting says. "By contrast, PMC is being bolder and more strategic in cutting off technology development that it didn't feel could deliver near-term return on investment."

It's unclear if PMC will cut any major product lines this time around, but CEO Bailey did hint at what's untouchable. His prepared statement yesterday said he wants to "strengthen development efforts in MIPS processors, high-speed mixed signal [i.e. chips mixing digital and analog functions], and sub-90 nanometer design."

Details of PMC's restructuring will be revealed in the company's earnings conference call, scheduled for Jan. 23.

— Craig Matsumoto, Senior Editor, Light Reading

(4)  | 
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
aardvark
50%
50%
aardvark,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 12:51:07 AM
re: More Cuts at PMC-Sierra
If there's one thing these guy's know how to do (apart from damm good silicon) it's metormorphise.

And it will be faster than we think.

Watch out for HQ going south of the 49th.

Sierra = Modems = early 90's
PMC = WAN (ATM/SONET..) = late 90's
QED = MIPS = 2000 and on
jackall
50%
50%
jackall,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 12:51:03 AM
re: More Cuts at PMC-Sierra

I guess this puts Kevin's Ford Taurus back down
to a sensible price range, eh ?

heh heh heh.

Couldn't have happened to a nicer guy.
stinglikeabee
50%
50%
stinglikeabee,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 12:51:01 AM
re: More Cuts at PMC-Sierra
Anyone have details on projects or sites that were closed up? Any directors or execs let go?

TIA, SLAB
aardvark
50%
50%
aardvark,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 12:50:44 AM
re: More Cuts at PMC-Sierra
I heard a rumour the Maryland RND office was closed. Also a sales office in Europe.

Any other feedback
Flash Poll
LRTV Custom TV
Optimizing SDN & NFV Architectures Through Application Awareness

4|23|14   |   6:24   |   (0) comments


Jerome Tollet, CTO at Qosmos, explains how network equipment vendors and operators deploying SDN and NFV can take advantage of network intelligence delivered by DPI to strengthen products and services.
LRTV Custom TV
Wind River Demonstrates Carrier-Grade Software for NFV

4|22|14   |   5:00   |   (0) comments


Wind River VP of Product Management, Glenn Seiler, takes a look the industry's first and only complete NFV software platform designed specifically for the unique carrier-grade and high-performance needs of telecom networks.
LRTV Documentaries
Cable Eyes Big Technology Shifts

4|16|14   |   03:02   |   (4) comments


US cable engineers are facing a lot of heavy lifting in the coming years, notes Light Reading Cable/Video Practice Leader Alan Breznick.
LRTV Custom TV
Maximizing Customer Experience & Assuring Service Delivery in an IP World

4|15|14   |   4:57   |   (0) comments


Steven Shalita, VP of Marketing, NetScout Systems, Inc., discusses the challenges cable/MSO operators face in assuring the delivery of new IP-based services. Key points include the value of proactively managing performance, and using rich analytics and operational intelligence to better understand service and usage trends, make smarter business decisions and ...
LRTV Documentaries
Bye-Bye DVD: Consumers Embrace Digital Video

4|10|14   |   04:17   |   (7) comments


Veteran video analyst Colin Dixon, founder and principal analyst of nScreenMedia, says research shows 56% are using digital video already.
LRTV Documentaries
Video: TW Cable Puts Multicast Gateways to the Test

4|8|14   |   04:13   |   (1) comment


Tom Gonder, a chief architect at Time Warner Cable, explains how its trial of multicast gateways is impacting IP-based video plans.
LRTV Custom TV
Managing & Monetizing Big Data in Operator Environments

4|7|14   |     |   (1) comment


At Mobile World Congress, Gigamon's Director of Service Provider Solutions, Andy Huckridge, and Heavy Reading Analyst Sarah Wallace discuss the 'big data' issues facing carriers and operators today.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Data Center Energy – Build Your Data Center in a Modular Way

4|7|14   |   2:13   |   (0) comments


Dr. Fang Liangzhou, VP Network Energy Product Line, shared his thoughts about the challenges for data centers during CeBIT 2014.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Agile Network Solution – An Overview of Huawei's Agile Network Solution

4|7|14   |   2:31   |   (0) comments


Ajay Gupta, Director of Product Marketing, Networking Product Line, gives an overview of the Agile Network Solutions during CeBIT 2014.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei’s eLTE Voice Trunking, Video and Data Applied for Railways

4|7|14   |   1:38   |   (0) comments


Gottfried Winter is the Sales Director at Funkwerk, a German specialist in GSM-r terminals and a long-time partner of Huawei. At CeBIT 2014, Winter talks to Light Reading about this partnership and the integration of enhanced voice trunking, video and data functions.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
LeaseWeb Speaks Highly of Huawei's Datacenter Products

4|7|14   |   1:37   |   (0) comments


Rene Olde Olthof, Operations Director LeaseWeb, talks about the next data center transformation during CeBIT 2014.
LRTV Documentaries
Comcast: Reshaping the Cable Network Architecture

4|3|14   |   07:11   |   (8) comments


Shamim Akhtar, Comcast's architect and senior director of network strategy, explains why the cable company is moving to a more distributed network architecture.
Hot Topics
WhatsApp Threatens Carrier VoLTE
Sarah Reedy, Senior Editor, 4/18/2014
The Hungry, Hungry Cloud
Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, 4/22/2014
Who's Ready to Play Broadband?
Carol Wilson, Editor-at-large, 4/21/2014
What's the Magic of Private Equity?
Carolyn Mathas, 4/22/2014
AT&T Turns Up Gig Heat in 21 New Metros
Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, 4/21/2014
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed