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Avant! cruises past second quarter estimates

Avant! Corp. (Nasdaq: AVNT) hustled past analysts' estimates in its second quarter, earning $14.7 million, or 43 cents a share, on sales of $70 million.

Its shares closed up 3/8 to 13 ahead of the earnings report.

First Call consensus pegged Avant! for a profit of 41 cents a share in the quarter.

The $70 million in sales represents a 30 percent jump versus the year-ago quarter when it made $12 million on sales of $54 million.

Avant! develops software for chip manufacturers.

"Avant! continues to grow because of the strength in our fundamental business combined with our high level of investment in research and development," said CEO Gerald Hsu in a prepared release.

Last quarter, Avant made $14.4 million, or 41 cents a share, on sales of $65.9 million.

Despite its legal entanglements, Avant! continues to grow its sales and earnings in successive quarters.

The stock, which peaked at 24 in January, was trading at a 52-week low of 10 7/16 in June.

All three of the analysts following the stock rate it a "hold."