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Virata sees 4Q charges, sets stock split

Virata (Nasdaq: VRTA) approved a stock split even as IPO lockups are set to expire on 1.7 million shares, and announced up to $11.5 million in one-time fourth quarter charges.

After market close Thursday, the company announced a 2-for-1 stock split, to effect for shareholders of May 4 record, assuming it receives approval at a shareholder meeting scheduled May 1.

Virata currently has 23.3 million shares oustanding.

"We believe Virata's strong position in the broadband DSL and wireless markets has been reflected in our growing market capitalization," CEO Charles Cotton said.

Virata said it would ask shareholders to approve an increase the number of authorized shares to 450 million from 40 million currently.

Earlier Thursday, the maker of chips for DSL hardware said it would take non-recurring charges of $5.3 million related to the February acquisition of D2 Technologies, and possibly $6.2 million for National Insurance contributions for Virata's British employees.

The D2 deal also calls for goodwill writedowns of $83.4 million over four years, including $3.5 million in the fourth quarter.

Also Thursday, the lead underwriter for Virata's IPO agreed to an early release of about 10 percent of shares currently under IPO lockup restrictions. Although the lockup provisions aren't due to expire until May 15, CS First Boston will release 1.7 million shares on Mar. 27.

"This ten percent lockup release will increase the liquidity of our stock for existing and potential investors," Cotton said.

In other announcements, Virata said it has signed a quarterly record number of new customers in the fourth quarter, but did not provide specific figures.

Shares of Virata traded as high as a close of 198 5/8 on Mar. 6, a thirteen-fold increase since the company went public in November. The stock has dipped since early March, but still trades far above the IPO price. Virata closed Thursday's regular trading at 172 1/8, up 37 for the session.>