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Triquint gains on outlook

The chipmaker says it should be able to hit analysts' third-quarter predictions, offering a glimmer of hope to chip and telecom stock investors and giving a boost to wireless industry stocks.

Margaret Kane Former Staff writer, CNET News
Margaret is a former news editor for CNET News, based in the Boston bureau.
Margaret Kane
2 min read
Triquint Semiconductor offered a glimmer of hope to chip and telecom stock investors, saying on a conference call that it shouldn't have a problem hitting analysts' predictions for the third quarter, and that it sees signs of orders for cell phone products picking up by the end of the year.

The stock jumped 15.05 percent Wednesday, rising $2.92 to $22.32.

The news also boosted other stocks in the wireless industry. Chipmakers Texas Instruments rose $1.14 cents to $33.65 and National Semiconductor gained $1.91 to $32.03. Shares of cell phone makers gained, with Nokia rising 97 cents to $17.98, Motorola rising $1.25 cents to $17.85 and Ericsson adding 38 cents to $5.36.

Triquint makes chips used in communications devices like cell phones, and its major customers include companies such as Nokia and Ericsson, which have struggled of late. In May, Triquint slashed revenue guidance for the full year, citing the "biggest recession" ever in wireless and fiber optics.

Analysts were expecting the company to post a profit of 3 cents per share for the third and fourth quarters. Triquint executives said on the conference call that it was too early to discuss bookings for the fourth quarter, but said the third quarter was 100 percent booked, adding that they did not need any more business to match expectations. Triquint's third quarter will end in September.

The news came as a surprise to several analysts who follow the company; on Tuesday at least two analysts had predicted the company would cut guidance when it gave its midquarter update, due to shortfalls in its broadband communications business.

Those concerns had sent the stock down about 8 percent in trading Tuesday. The stock has recovered from an April low of about $10, but is well off 52-week highs of above $60.

Triquint said Tuesday that its wireless handset business, which accounts for about 45 percent of its business, was doing well, with component orders increasing across most product lines.

But there was some bad news. Revenue from its broadband business will be down "significantly" compared with the second quarter.

Triquint "continues to be plagued by extremely low order rates and push-outs from broadband customers such as Nortel, JDS Uniphase, and Corning for a variety of products used in broadband communications systems," wrote Merrill Lynch analyst Christopher Danely.

Danely said that competitor RF Micro Devices might be a "better way to play the recovery of the wireless sector," since it does much more business in the wireless market. RF Micro Devices was up 63 cents to $24.17.

Even though the company has booked much of its third-quarter business, "there is potential for additional reductions in expectations," Danely said.

On the other hand, Bear Stearns analyst Charles Boucher argued that "the fundamentals are beginning to show signs of recovery," and the company had a "16 percent downside risk and well over 100 percent upside potential to our price target of $50." He reiterated a "buy" rating on the stock.