ST Reports 2024 First Quarter Financial Results

Q1 net revenues $3.47 billion; gross margin 41.7%; operating margin 15.9%; net income $513 million Q1 free cash flow $(134) million after Net Capex1 of $967 million Business outlook at mid-point: Q2 net revenues of $3.2 billion and gross margin of 40%

0
40

    STMicroelectronicsa global semiconductor leader serving customers across the spectrum of electronics applications, reported U.S. GAAP financial results for the first quarter ended March 30, 2024. This press release also contains non-U.S. GAAP measures (see Appendix for additional information).

    ST reported first quarter net revenues of $3.47 billion, gross margin of 41.7%, operating margin of 15.9%, and net income of $513 million or $0.54 diluted earnings per share.

    Jean-Marc Chery, ST President & CEO, commented:

    • “Q1 net revenues and gross margin both came in below the midpoint of our business outlook range, driven by lower revenues in Automotive and Industrial, partially offset by higher revenues in Personal Electronics.”
    •  “On a year-over-year basis, Q1 net revenues decreased 18.4%, operating margin decreased to 15.9% from 28.3% and net income decreased 50.9% to $513 million.”
    • “During the quarter, Automotive semiconductor demand slowed down compared to our expectations, entering a deceleration phase, while the ongoing Industrial correction accelerated.”
    • “Our second quarter business outlook, at the mid-point, is for net revenues of $3.2 billion, decreasing year-over-year by 26.0% and decreasing sequentially by 7.6%; gross margin is expected to be about 40%.”
    • “We will now drive the Company based on a revised plan for FY24 revenues in the range of $14 billion to $15 billion. Within this plan, we expect a gross margin in the low 40’s.”
    • “We plan to maintain our Net Capex1 plan for FY24 at about $2.5 billion focusing on our strategic manufacturing initiatives.”

    Quarterly Financial Summary (U.S. GAAP)

    (US$ m, except per share data)Q1 2024Q4 2023Q1 2023Q/QY/Y
    Net Revenues$3,465$4,282$4,247-19.1%-18.4%
    Gross Profit$1,444$1,949$2,110-26.0%-31.6%
    Gross Margin41.7%45.5%49.7%-380 bps-800 bps
    Operating Income$551$1,023$1,201-46.1%-54.1%
    Operating Margin15.9%23.9%28.3%-800 bps-1,240 bps
    Net Income$513$1,076$1,044-52.4%-50.9%
    Diluted Earnings Per Share$0.54$1.14$1.10-52.6%-50.9%

    First Quarter 2024 Summary Review

    Reminder: On January 10, 2024, ST announced a new organization which implied a change in segment reporting starting Q1 2024. Comparative periods have been adjusted accordingly. See Appendix for more detail. 

    Net Revenues by Reportable Segment (US$ m)Q1 2024Q4 2023Q1 2023Q/QY/Y
    Analog products, MEMS and Sensors (AM&S) segment1,2171,4181,400-14.2%-13.1%
    Power and discrete products (P&D) segment820965909-15.1%-9.8%
    Subtotal: Analog, Power & Discrete, MEMS and Sensors (APMS) Product Group2,0372,3832,309-14.5%-11.8%
    Microcontrollers (MCU) segment9501,2721,448-25.3%-34.4%
    Digital ICs and RF Products (D&RF) segment475623486-23.8%-2.1%
    Subtotal: Microcontrollers, Digital ICs and RF products (MDRF) Product Group1,4251,8951,934-24.8%-26.3%
    Others344
    Total Net Revenues3,4654,2824,247-19.1%-18.4%

    Net revenues totaled $3.47 billion, representing a year-over-year decrease of 18.4%. Year-over-year net sales to OEMs and Distribution decreased 11.5% and 30.8%, respectively. On a sequential basis, net revenues decreased 19.1%, 320 basis points lower than the mid-point of ST’s guidance.

    Gross profit totaled $1.44 billion, representing a year-over-year decrease of 31.6%. Gross margin of 41.7%, 60 basis points below the mid-point of ST’s guidance, decreased 800 basis points year-over-year, mainly due to the combination of sales price and product mix, unused capacity charges and reduced manufacturing efficiencies.

    Operating income decreased 54.1% to $551 million, compared to $1.20 billion in the year-ago quarter. ST’s operating margin decreased 1,240 basis points on a year-over-year basis to 15.9% of net revenues, compared to 28.3% in the first quarter of 2023.

    By reportable segment, compared with the year-ago quarter:

    In Analog, Power & Discrete, MEMS and Sensors (APMS) Product Group:

    Analog products, MEMS and Sensors (AM&S) segment:

    • Revenue decreased 13.1% mainly due to a decrease in MEMS and Imaging.  
    • Operating profit decreased by 44.8% to $185 million. Operating margin was 15.2% compared to 23.9%.

    Power and Discrete products (P&D) segment:

    • Revenue decreased 9.8% mainly due to a decrease in Discrete.
    • Operating profit decreased by 41.6% to $138 million. Operating margin was 16.8% compared to 26.0%.

    In Microcontrollers, Digital ICs and RF products (MDRF) Product Group:

    Microcontrollers (MCU) segment:

    • Revenue decreased 34.4% mainly due to a decrease in GP MCU. 
    • Operating profit decreased by 66.7% to $185 million. Operating margin was 19.5% compared to 38.3%.

    Digital ICs and RF products (D&RF) segment:

    • Revenue decreased 2.1% due to a decrease in ADAS more than offsetting an increase in RF Communications.
    • Operating profit decreased by 8.2% to $150 million. Operating margin was 31.8% compared to 33.9%.

    Net income and diluted Earnings Per Share decreased to $513 million and $0.54 respectively compared to $1.04 billion and $1.10 respectively in the year-ago quarter. 

    Cash Flow and Balance Sheet Highlights

        Trailing 12 Months
    (US$ m)Q1 2024Q4 2023Q1 2023Q1 2024Q1 2023TTM Change
    Net cash from operating activities8591,4801,3205,5315,577-0.8%
    Free cash flow (non-U.S. GAAP)(134)6522061,4341,715-16.4%

    Net Capex (non-U.S. GAAP)1 was $967 million in the first quarter compared to $1.09 billion in the year-ago quarter.

    Free cash flow(non-U.S. GAAP)1 was negative at $134 million in the first quarter, compared to positive $206 million in the year-ago quarter.

    Inventory at the end of the first quarter was $2.69 billion, compared to $2.70 billion in the previous quarter and $2.87 billion in the year-ago quarter. Days sales of inventory at quarter-end was 122 days compared to 104 days in the previous quarter and 122 days in the year-ago quarter.

    In the first quarter, ST paid cash dividends to its stockholders totaling $48 million and executed a $87 million share buy-back as part of its current share repurchase program.

    ST’s net financial position (non-U.S. GAAP)1 was $3.13 billion as of March 30, 2024, compared to $3.16 billion as of December 31, 2023 and reflected total liquidity of $6.24 billion and total financial debt of $3.11 billion. Adjusted net financial position (non-U.S. GAAP)1, taking into consideration the effect on total liquidity of advances from capital grants for which capital expenditures have not been incurred yet, stood at $2.78 billion as of March 30, 2024.

    Business Outlook

    ST’s guidance, at the mid-point, for the 2024 second quarter is:

    • Net revenues are expected to be $3.2 billion, a decrease of 7.6% sequentially, plus or minus 350 basis points.
    • Gross margin of 40%, plus or minus 200 basis points.
    • This outlook is based on an assumed effective currency exchange rate of approximately $1.08 = €1.00 for the 2024 second quarter and includes the impact of existing hedging contracts.
    • The second quarter will close on June 29, 2024.

    Conference Call and Webcast Information

    ST will conduct a conference call with analysts, investors and reporters to discuss its first quarter 2024 financial results and current business outlook today at 9:30 a.m. Central European Time (CET) / 3:30 a.m. U.S. Eastern Time (ET). A live webcast (listen-only mode) of the conference call will be accessible at ST’s website, https://investors.st.com, and will be available for replay until May 10, 2024.

    Use of Supplemental Non-U.S. GAAP Financial Information

    This press release contains supplemental non-U.S. GAAP financial information.

    Readers are cautioned that these measures are unaudited and not prepared in accordance with U.S. GAAP and should not be considered as a substitute for U.S. GAAP financial measures. In addition, such non-U.S. GAAP financial measures may not be comparable to similarly titled information from other companies. To compensate for these limitations, the supplemental non-U.S. GAAP financial information should not be read in isolation, but only in conjunction with ST’s consolidated financial statements prepared in accordance with U.S. GAAP.

    See the Appendix of this press release for a reconciliation of ST’s non-U.S. GAAP financial measures to their corresponding U.S. GAAP financial measures.

    Forward-looking Information

    Some of the statements contained in this release that are not historical facts are statements of future expectations and other forward-looking statements (within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933 or Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, each as amended) that are based on management’s current views and assumptions, and are conditioned upon and also involve known and unknown risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results, performance or events to differ materially from those anticipated by such statements due to, among other factors:

    • changes in global trade policies, including the adoption and expansion of tariffs and trade barriers, that could affect the macro-economic environment and adversely impact the demand for our products;
    • uncertain macro-economic and industry trends (such as inflation and fluctuations in supply chains), which may impact production capacity and end-market demand for our products;
    • customer demand that differs from projections;
    • the ability to design, manufacture and sell innovative products in a rapidly changing technological environment;
    • changes in economic, social, public health, labor, political, or infrastructure conditions in the locations where we, our customers, or our suppliers operate, including as a result of macroeconomic or regional events, geopolitical and military conflicts, social unrest, labor actions, or terrorist activities;
    • unanticipated events or circumstances, which may impact our ability to execute our plans and/or meet the objectives of our R&D and manufacturing programs, which benefit from public funding;
    • financial difficulties with any of our major distributors or significant curtailment of purchases by key customers;
    • the loading, product mix, and manufacturing performance of our production facilities and/or our required volume to fulfill capacity reserved with suppliers or third-party manufacturing providers;
    • availability and costs of equipment, raw materials, utilities, third-party manufacturing services and technology, or other supplies required by our operations (including increasing costs resulting from inflation);
    • the functionalities and performance of our IT systems, which are subject to cybersecurity threats and which support our critical operational activities including manufacturing, finance and sales, and any breaches of our IT systems or those of our customers, suppliers, partners and providers of third-party licensed technology;
    • theft, loss, or misuse of personal data about our employees, customers, or other third parties, and breaches of data privacy legislation;
    • the impact of intellectual property (“IP”) claims by our competitors or other third parties, and our ability to obtain required licenses on reasonable terms and conditions;
    • changes in our overall tax position as a result of changes in tax rules, new or revised legislation, the outcome of tax audits or changes in international tax treaties which may impact our results of operations as well as our ability to accurately estimate tax credits, benefits, deductions and provisions and to realize deferred tax assets;
    • variations in the foreign exchange markets and, more particularly, the U.S. dollar exchange rate as compared to the Euro and the other major currencies we use for our operations;
    • the outcome of ongoing litigation as well as the impact of any new litigation to which we may become a defendant;
    • product liability or warranty claims, claims based on epidemic or delivery failure, or other claims relating to our products, or recalls by our customers for products containing our parts;
    • natural events such as severe weather, earthquakes, tsunamis, volcano eruptions or other acts of nature, the effects of climate change, health risks and epidemics or pandemics in locations where we, our customers or our suppliers operate;
    • increased regulation and initiatives in our industry, including those concerning climate change and sustainability matters and our goal to become carbon neutral by 2027 on scope 1 and 2 and partially scope 3;
    • epidemics or pandemics, which may negatively impact the global economy in a significant manner for an extended period of time, and could also materially adversely affect our business and operating results;
    • industry changes resulting from vertical and horizontal consolidation among our suppliers, competitors, and customers; and
    • the ability to successfully ramp up new programs that could be impacted by factors beyond our control, including the availability of critical third-party components and performance of subcontractors in line with our expectations.

    Such forward-looking statements are subject to various risks and uncertainties, which may cause actual results and performance of our business to differ materially and adversely from the forward-looking statements. Certain forward-looking statements can be identified by the use of forward-looking terminology, such as “believes”, “expects”, “may”, “are expected to”, “should”, “would be”, “seeks” or “anticipates” or similar expressions or the negative thereof or other variations thereof or comparable terminology, or by discussions of strategy, plans or intentions.

    Some of these risk factors are set forth and are discussed in more detail in “Item 3. Key Information — Risk Factors” included in our Annual Report on Form 20-F for the year ended December 31, 2023 as filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) on February 22, 2024. Should one or more of these risks or uncertainties materialize, or should underlying assumptions prove incorrect, actual results may vary materially from those described in this press release as anticipated, believed or expected. We do not intend, and do not assume any obligation, to update any industry information or forward-looking statements set forth in this release to reflect subsequent events or circumstances.

    Unfavorable changes in the above or other factors listed under “Item 3. Key Information — Risk Factors” from time to time in our Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) filings, could have a material adverse effect on our business and/or financial condition.