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Ceva Jumps on Surprise Fourth-Quarter Profit, Revenue Beat

Shares of Ceva climbed after the licensor of tech used in chips for wireless connectivity swung to a surprise profit and beat revenue expectations.

Shares of Ceva  (CEVA) jumped on Tuesday after the licensor of tech used in chips for wireless connectivity and other applications swung to a surprise fourth-quarter profit and beat revenue expectations.

Shares of the Rockville, Md., company at last check rose 9.6% to $76.57. The stock on Tuesday touched a 52-week high $83.95, up 20%.

The technology provider posted net income of $635,000, or 3 cents a share, a drop of 79% from $3 million, or 14 cents, in the year-earlier period. Adjusted earnings were 20 cents a share, compared with 30 cents. 

Revenue edged 0.6% lower to $28.1 million from $28.3 million. 

A survey of analysts by FactSet produced consensus estimates of a GAAP loss of 6 cents a share, or adjusted earnings of 11 cents, on revenue of $23.1 million.

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Chief Executive Gideon Wertheizer, in a statement, called the quarter "excellent," in both licensing and royalties.

"Our record high royalty revenue reflects a particularly strong quarter in smartphone shipments and continued traction in our base station and [internet of things] product category, which grew 50% year over year," Wertheizer added.

Ceva's royalty revenue increased 19% to $16.1 million from $13.5 million in the year-earlier quarter.

"Our licensing business had another record year as we grew our customer base in Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, 5G and automotive," he said.

Ceva's licensing and related revenue dropped 18% to  $12.1 million from $14.8 million in the year-ago period. For the year revenue in the category advanced 9.7% to $52.5 million.

In the quarter, Ceva completed 21 license agreements including five for smart sensing products and 16 for connectivity products with seven first-time customers, the company said.