RF Micro Devices ( RFMD) managed to squeak out slightly better-than-expected earnings for the first quarter of fiscal year 2005. But the wireless chipmaker's revenue was a tad light and its guidance well short of expectations for the second quarter now under way, due to stagnant handset unit growth. After the bell, shares recently swooned 36 cents, or 5.5%, to $6.20. In regular trading Tuesday, the stock closed up 30 cents, or 4.8%, to $6.56. The Greensboro, N.C.-based outfit posted year-on-year revenue growth of 26% to $166 million, a tad light of the consensus estimate for $171 million. Net income amounted to $3 million, or 2 cents a share, up from a net loss of $8.2 million, or 4 cents a share, for the same quarter last year. Gross margins grew 180 basis points from the prior quarter to 39.1%. On a pro forma basis, net income amounted to $12.7 million, or 6 cents a share, 2 cents better than expectations. In the quarter ending June 30, pro forma results excluded $9.7 million in expenses, including an in-process R&D charge of approximately $6.2 million related to the acquisition of SiliconWave and $3.5 million in noncash expenses related to the amortization of deferred stock-based compensation and the amortization of transaction-related intangibles. In a statement, Chief Financial Officer Dean Priddy said the company is pleased by its improved gross margins, which owe to yield improvement in its highest-volume power amplifiers. He said the company has "considerable opportunity to continue to expand our margins this fiscal year through ongoing cost savings initiatives, such as continued improvements in manufacturing yields and the ramp of our internal module assembly operations." RF Micro said it expects second-quarter revenue to be flat with the first quarter, well below Wall Street expectations for $186 million in sales. The outlook reflects management's expectation that worldwide handset unit volumes will be flat with the June quarter, but RF Micro said sequential unit growth should resume in the December quarter.
Net income according to generally accepted accounting principles should be 1 to 2 cents a share, the company said. On a pro forma basis, profit should equal 3 cents to 4 cents, short of the consensus estimate for a 7-cent profit. The pro forma number excludes roughly $3.2 million in noncash expenses related to the amortization of deferred compensation and intangible assets. As for broader guidance, RF Micro Devices said it believes the worldwide handset market "is on track to sell more than 600 million units in calendar year 2004, reflecting solid, double-digit unit growth over 2003." It said handset sales in the second half of calendar year 2004 will be stronger than in the first half of the year.