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Sales surge boosts chipmaker Intersil

The company attributes its better-than-expected earnings report to nearly $50 million in sales of wireless access products during the quarter.

Chipmaker Intersil reported a higher-than-expected first-quarter net income on Wednesday, with revenue from the sale of its Wi-Fi equipment growing by 30 percent from the previous quarter.

Net income for the period was $15.4 million, or 14 cents per share, on revenue of $134.1 million. That compares with net income of $8.1 million, or 7 cents per share, in the same period in 2001.

Analysts expected Intersil to earn 13 cents per share, according to a survey by First Call.

Intersil expects its next quarter revenues will increase between 6 and 8 percent. It also forecast revenue from the sale of all its chips and other businesses will be between $580 million and $590 million this year.

The company intends to "attack new markets," like selling chips to the makers of credit card-sized modems that access both a Wi-Fi network and a cellular telephone network at the same time, said Intersil President Greg Williams.

Nokia is selling a similar laptop card in Europe. GTran Wireless is using Intersil's chips to make a similar card for release in the United States later this year.

At the close of regular trading, Intersil shares were down 42 cents to $28.89. The earnings report was issued after the close of regular trading.

Williams attributed the better-than-expected report to nearly $50 million in sales of wireless access products during the quarter. The products, which are used to create Wi-Fi networks, are in about 30 million homes and offices throughout the world.

"We've seen strong growth since September," he said during a conference call with investors. "We're starting to see more equipment providers entering into the (wireless networking) business."