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Linear Technology

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Linear Technology (LLTC)

Company Profile : Milpitas, Calif.-based Linear Technology designs, manufactures and markets a broad line of standard high performance linear integrated circuits.

On Jan. 18, Linear Technology raised its quarterly dividend by a penny per share to 23 cents.

The cash payout will be available on March 2 to shareholders of record on Feb. 18, bringing Linear's yield to around 2.6%.

The news came a day before Linear forecast revenue and earnings would decline 6% to 10% sequentially in its current third-fiscal quarter of 2011.

Analysts' consensus call is for Linear to book third-quarter profits of 57 cents per share, or $133.5 million, on revenue of $365 million.

Linear reported fiscal-second quarter profits of $147.8 million, or 64 cents per share, on revenue of $383.6 million.

Jefferies analysts maintained a hold rating on Linear and $33 price target. The equity research firm wrote that "we are updating our estimates following Linear's earnings call. Linear reported slightly better fourth quarter results but provided lower guidance due to a design loss in the iPad 2 and some inventory rationalization. We lowered our 2011 EPS to $2.27 (from $2.34) and are introducing our 2012 estimate of $2.35. We believe the risk/reward is balanced yet would look to get more positive with indications of new growth drivers or as a defensive play in a weakening demand environment as Linear has very strong cash flow, high stable GM, and a defensible competitive position with long design cycles."

JPMorgan analysts raised their price target on Linear to $34.50, from $31, and reiterated an overweight rating on the stock. Barclays reiterated an equal rating but raised its price target by $2 to $35.

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