Fabrinet $FN Deep Dive

Executive Summary:

Fabrinet is a manufacturing partner for leading tech companies. They specialize in complex optical components and offer a variety of services including manufacturing, packaging, and supply chain management. Their business model emphasizes intellectual property protection, scalability, and cost reduction for their clients.

Stock Overview:

Ticker$FNPrice$244.79Market Cap$8.85B
52 Week High$263.4352 Week Low$126.34Shares outstanding36.14M

Company background:

Founded in 2000 by David Mitchell, co-founder of Seagate Technology, Fabrinet began as a manufacturer of complex optical components for original equipment manufacturers (OEMs). Mitchell’s initial funding, alongside backing from Hambrecht & Quist Asia, allowed Fabrinet to acquire a former Seagate facility in Thailand, making them one of their first clients.

Their core business focuses on high-mix, high-value, and complex products used in various industries like aerospace, automotive, and medical technology. Fabrinet operates globally with headquarters in Thailand and manufacturing facilities spread across Thailand, China, the United States, and the United Kingdom. Some of their key competitors include Plexus Corp., Jabil Inc., and Sanmina Corporation. These companies all compete in the outsourced manufacturing service (EMS) space, offering similar services for the technology sector.

Recent Earnings:

Revenue and Growth: Fabrinet projected revenue for the fourth quarter to be in the range of $720 million to $740 million. This would represent a potential year-over-year growth of 4.6% to 6.8% compared to the same quarter in 2023.

EPS and Growth: Fabrinet reported a non-GAAP EPS of $2.39, which reflected a significant 23.2% increase compared to the same period in the prior year.

Analyst Expectations: EPS forecast of $2.24 for the fourth quarter, which Fabrinet might have surpassed based on their own projections.

The Market, Industry, and Competitors:

Fabrinet operates in the outsourced manufacturing service (EMS) market, specifically within the niche of high-mix, high-value, and complex components. The increasing demand for cloud computing, artificial intelligence, and 5G technology all require the advanced packaging and miniaturization that Fabrinet specializes in. The trend towards outsourcing manufacturing, particularly for complex products, is expected to continue.

Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) in the range of 5-8% through 2030. This translates to a near doubling of the market size within that timeframe.

Unique differentiation:

Large, Established EMS Providers: Companies like Jabil Inc., Sanmina Corporation, and Plexus Corp. are major players in the broader EMS space. These giants offer a wider range of services beyond just optical components, including printed circuit board assembly and box-build manufacturing. Their vast scale allows them to potentially offer lower per-unit costs for simpler products. Fabrinet differentiates itself by focusing on high-complexity, high-value products with tighter tolerances and intellectual property considerations.

Specialized Optical Component Manufacturers: Companies like Finisar and II-VI Incorporated compete more directly with Fabrinet in the realm of complex optical components. These firms may have a deeper understanding of specific optical technologies and might be more vertically integrated, controlling aspects of the supply chain like raw material sourcing or lens design. Fabrinet counters by leveraging its broader service portfolio, including advanced packaging and electro-mechanical assembly, to offer a more comprehensive solution to its clients.

Specialization in High-Mix, High-Value Products: Unlike larger EMS companies that handle a wider range of services, Fabrinet focuses on complex, intricate components. This allows them to cater to clients needing cutting-edge optics, advanced packaging, and tight tolerance manufacturing. While large-scale providers might offer lower costs for simpler products, Fabrinet caters to a niche where precision and technical expertise are paramount.

Comprehensiveness Beyond Optics: While some competitors like Finisar might have a deeper understanding of specific optical technologies, Fabrinet goes beyond just optics. They offer a broader service package that includes electro-mechanical assembly and advanced packaging. This one-stop-shop approach provides clients with a complete solution, streamlining their manufacturing process and potentially reducing the need to work with multiple vendors.

Management & Employees:

Seamus Grady (Chief Executive Officer): Grady joined Fabrinet in 2017 and has a proven track record in manufacturing operations, having held leadership positions at Sanmina Corporation.

Harpal Gill (President and Chief Operating Officer): Dr. Gill has been with Fabrinet since 2003, leading engineering efforts before transitioning to his current role. His background includes experience in disk drive manufacturing and engineering management.

David T. Mitchell (Chairman of the Board): A founder of Fabrinet, Mitchell boasts a long history in the technology sector, having co-founded Seagate Technology before establishing Fabrinet.


Fabrinet has demonstrated consistent financial growth. Revenue has seen a steady upward trajectory, with a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) likely exceeding 10% based on available information. This growth can be attributed to the increasing demand for high-tech components in sectors like cloud computing, AI, and 5G – areas perfectly aligned with Fabrinet’s expertise in complex optical packaging.

Earnings growth has mirrored the positive trend in revenue. CAGR for earnings per share (EPS) that’s also well above average, potentially exceeding 20%. Fabrinet’s focus on high-value, complex components suggests they likely have a higher proportion of assets dedicated to machinery and equipment compared to companies that manufacture simpler products.

Technical Analysis:

The stock is hitting a top (neutral, stage 3 consolidation) on the monthly and weekly chart, but is in a Stage 2 markup (bullish) on the daily chart, with a likely reversal between 228 and 240.

Bull Case:

Niche Expertise: Unlike larger EMS providers, Fabrinet focuses on high-mix, high-value products with tight tolerances. This niche market rewards expertise and precision, creating a barrier to entry for competitors and allowing Fabrinet to command premium pricing.

Comprehensive Solutions: While some competitors might excel in specific areas like optics, Fabrinet goes beyond just optical components. They offer a broader suite of services including electro-mechanical assembly and advanced packaging. This one-stop-shop approach streamlines the manufacturing process for their clients and increases Fabrinet’s overall value proposition.

Bear Case:

Supply Chain Disruptions: Fabrinet operates facilities globally and relies on a complex supply chain. Geopolitical tensions, trade wars, or natural disasters could disrupt this network, leading to production delays, higher costs, and potential revenue losses.

Technological Disruption: The technology sector is constantly evolving. If new advancements emerge that render Fabrinet’s core competencies obsolete, the company could struggle to adapt and maintain its market share.

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