One of the world's oldest and largest semiconductor makers, Texas Instruments (TI) is the market leader in digital signal processors (DSPs) and a leading maker of analog semiconductors, which change real-world signals (such as sound and images) into the digital data streams processed by DSPs. Many wireless phones sold worldwide contain TI's DSPs, which are also found in DVD players, automotive systems, and computer modems. The company's other semiconductor products include logic chips, microprocessors, microcontrollers, and display components. TI also makes calculators. Most of sales come from customers in the Asia/Pacific region.
The company operates primarily through two segments: analog and embedded products. The analog business, which accounts for about 55% of sales, includes high-volume analog and logic products, power management semiconductors, and catalog analog products such as amplifiers and data converters. The Embedded products segment, which includes DSPs and microcontrollers, generates about 15% of sales. TI formerly made baseband products, as well as connectivity and other products for smartphones and tablets, via its wireless segment; it shuttered that segment in late 2012.
TI has design, manufacturing, or sales operations in some three dozen countries across Asia, Europe, and North America. The Asia-Pacific region (including Japan) represents its leading market, accounting for more than 70% of revenue; Europe and the US account for about 15% and 12%, respectively.
Sales and Marketing
The company markets its product through a direct sales force, as well as via distributors and third-party sales representatives. Distributors generate about half of sales.
In late 2012 TI announced a restructuring of its wireless business that includes a move away from products for mobile devices and toward embedded markets, which the company sees as more suitable for growth. Wireless is no longer a reportable business for the company as products for embedded markets have been moved to that segment.
TI initiated a separate restructuring in late 2011 that will result in the close of two manufacturing plants - in Hiji, Japan and Houston, Texas - in 2013.
Mergers & Acquisitions
TI jockeys back and forth with European chip giant STMicroelectronics to be the world's top maker of analog chips; both companies far outpace other analog rivals. In 2011 TI looked to take the lead in the analog race when it bought smaller rival National Semiconductor for about $6.5 billion in cash. The deal did more than add to the breadth of TI's analog product lines; combined with those of National Semiconductor, the company has a portfolio of nearly 45,000 analog chips. The two companies share many of the same customers and chips from each are often included in the same end products. Where products do not overlap, chips from the combined company expand TI's reach to additional customers in new markets, particularly for power management applications.
After a dip in sales and profits in 2008 and 2009, when the global recession dampened demand for consumer electronics, TI's sales recovered in 2010, though they have declined a bit since then. In 2012, the company reported revenue of about $12.8 billion, down 7% from 2011 amid weak demand. It saw modest growth (about 10%) in its analog business, but declines in all other segments, including a drop of more than 45% in its wireless business, which TI is exiting.
Net income was also down in 2012, falling more than 20% to $1.8 billion, as the company reported higher expenses and acquisition charges related to the purchase of National Semiconductor, as well as charges resulting from the restructuring of its wireless segment.