Arm Holdings is set for a blockbuster initial public offering which will test market appetite for an important technology company. However, its targeted valuation suggests it is accepting it won’t be the next
British chip designer Arm has priced its initial public offering at a range that would value the company at up to $52 billion, according to a filing on Tuesday.
The target is below a $64 billion calculation of Arm’s value following a recent stake sale involving its current owner SoftBank (ticker: 9984. Japan). SoftBank is hoping to sell about 10% of total shares outstanding in the offering, The Journal reported.
However, it would still make it the biggest IPO of the year and an important marker for investor interest in a major technology company listing at a time of high interest rates. The valuation still suggests Arm is pretty optimistic.
The company will issue 95.5 million American depositary shares from $47 to $51 each, with each ADS representing one ordinary share. With 1.03 billion ordinary shares to be outstanding after the IPO, the company would be valued between $48.23 billion and $52.33 billion.
Arm generated $2.68 billion of revenue in its most recent fiscal year and net income of $524 million. That indicates it is looking for a trailing price-to-earnings multiple of 92 to 100 times.
That’s less than the 117 times trailing price-to-earnings ratio which Nvidia (NVDA) trades. However, Arm is still aiming for a hefty premium to other chip makers which share a heavy exposure to the sluggish smartphone market. For example,
(QCOM) trades at a trailing P/E ratio of 15 times.
A backward-looking valuation doesn’t tell the full story. Arm’s technology powers chips inside nearly every smartphone and it’s hoping that several of its partners will invest in its IPO as strategic investors. Nvidia,
(AAPL) and Google-parent
(GOOGL) are all among the companies signed up to invest. That could push up the valuation.
However, what makes sense as a strategic investment for Arm’s customers might not make sense for individual investors. Arm’s exposure to smartphones and the Chinese market have raised questions among analysts about its growth trajectory.
“Our experts are skeptical about the long-term sustainability of revenue growth and high margins of ARM. They expect a yearly revenue growth of 5-10% for the next five years, followed by a peak and subsequent contraction on a yearly basis,” wrote Albie Amankona, an analyst at Third Bridge in a research note on Monday.
Write to Adam Clark at email@example.com