Here's your opportunity to learn more about the microchip designer.
Tomorrow we're visiting ARM (LSE: ARM) to discover more about the microchip designer. As lead analysts for the Fool's new Share Advisor service, we're always keen to speak to top-notch businesses to ensure ordinary investors like you understand as much about your investments as possible.
As you might already know, ARM has exhibited first-class progress since it joined the stock market back in 1998. In those days, the group sported sales of £42m and profits of £9m; by 2011, however, sales had surged to £492m and profits had ballooned to £157m. Recent results showed strong momentum, too, with 2011 earnings up 33% and the number of ARM-based processors sold up 30% to almost 8 billion.
The turbo-charged expansion has been supported by the explosion in sales of digital gadgets such as smartphones and tablets, where an unbelievable 95% of such devices bought today contain an ARM-designed processor. ARM-based chips are also prevalent in hard drives, digital televisions, laptops and -- according to the firm's annual report -- even the latest generation of sewing machines!
An opening for Windows
One area that could enhance ARM's growth even further is the traditional desktop computer. With Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT.US) developing a version of Windows for ARM-based processors, we're certainly going to ask ARM what the desktop potential could be.
In particular, we'll quiz the company on what the royalty opportunity might be for ARM-designed processors installed in conventional PCs -- and whether the royalty per desktop could be as lucrative as it is currently for smartphones.
Furthermore, we'll ask about ARM's market-share targets for desktops for, say, 2017. Indeed, we do wonder whether it's possible for ARM to ever enjoy a substantial share of this particular market, given the historical dominance of Intel (NASDAQ: INTC.US).
During our visit we'll also be covering plenty of other topics, such as the group's licensing opportunities, competitive advantage and acquisition strategy. Suffice to say, we hope to know ARM inside out when we leave!
Your chance to quiz ARM
Of course, we're open to asking questions on your behalf during our visit. So if you have a burning question about ARM, please let us know in the comment box below. We can't promise to ask every submitted question, but we'll certainly do our best. Your questions can be about ARM's technical designs, industry potential, accounting small print -- or anything else you'd like to know about the company!
We hope to discover all the answers -- and we'll report back with what we find out.
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