(By Rich Bieglmeier) iStock analyst is always interested in following the activities of insiders. While we find Symantec Corporation's
) $1.4 million CEO buy intriguing and happy to see Patrick Walsh, Emmis Communications'
) CFO continuing to add the communication company's stock, but it's five separate executive members at Pixelworks, Inc.
) that we want to investigate further.
The dollar amount of purchases, just short of $100,000, might not be impressive, but when two directors, the CFO, Executive VP of Engineering, VP DSP Engineering & Chief Architect, and Sr. VP of Operations all come to the same conclusion, and buy simultaneously, that gets the spidey sense tingling.
Insiders most recent insider purchases come on the heels of the video and pixel processing chips and software company's most recent earnings report. The company lost two cents while Wall Street expected PXLW to lose five cents for its 2nd quarter.
However, iStock doesn't believe the three cent bullish surprise is the catalyst for insiders bucking up. No, we think this comment from CEO and President, Bruce Walicek, during the conference call is the money quote.
"We achieved another key milestone as we won a significant co-development project with a major customer to develop a highly integrated next generation chip that will result in significant revenue impact in 2014 and beyond."
Management never mentioned the name of the "major-customer" during the call. So, all we can do is speculate. In the 10Q, the following risk was mentioned, "We expect our development costs to exceed the amounts received from the customer (emphasis added), and although we expect to sell units of the product to the customer, there is no commitment or agreement from the customer for such sales at this time.'
Under the agreement, Pixelworks has to pay "$3.5 million was payable by the customer as of the date of the agreement and two additional payments of $1.75 million are each payable upon completion of certain development milestones."
Beyond the insider purchases, this is a major commitment. The secrecy, dollar amount, and exclusivity tells iStock that it is a big fish. Management may have dropped a hint when they explicitly mentioned that their technology works equally well on large-screen TVs and smaller, handheld devices like smartphones and tablets.
Another piece to the puzzle is this gem, "Pixelworks is early in the trend to the next generation of higher resolutions and resolutions are increasing in displays everywhere. A good example of this trend is the IPAD3 Retina display, which at 2Kx1K resolution is greater than today's High Definition Displays." PXLW's next wave is 4Kx2K Ultra Definition Systems, which are expected to launch this year.
iStock admits this is a wild guess, but we are putting our chips on Apple Inc. (AAPL) and here is why. Bet you didn't know this and neither did we, but according to the International Business Times (IBT), "parts reseller iSuppli discovered that Samsung is the sole manufacturer of the gorgeous Retina Display screen for "the new iPad,"
In case you haven't heard, Apple and Samsung are battling it out in court over patent infringements. It's most likely a sour arrangement and Apple's management must want to break free from sharing their technology with their biggest competitor.
The author of the IBT article, Dave Smith speculates "While Samsung is currently the sole maker of the new iPad panels, Apple will soon diversify its sources for the displays." He adds this quote from Kang Yoon Hum, an analyst at NH Investment & Securities Co., based in Seoul, ""Since the relationship between Apple and Samsung isn't great these days, Apple would want to get shipments elsewhere as well."
We are just connecting the dots here, and there is a lot of space between small dots, but it just makes sense – especially the way Apple Inc. (AAPL) likes to keep every new development a classified, top secret.