Semiconductor manufacturer Semtech ( SMTC) reported a 10% rise in its fourth-quarter profit.

The company earned $13 million, or 18 cents a share, in the quarter, compared with $12 million, or 16 cents a share, a year ago. Analysts polled by Thomson First Call were estimating earnings of 17 cents a share.

Fourth-quarter revenue rose 10.2% from a year-ago period to $64.4 million. Analysts were expecting revenue of $64.3 million in the most recent quarter ended Jan 29.

The company expects earnings of 18 cents a share or 19 cents a share in the first quarter of fiscal 2007 excluding stock option expense, amortization of intangibles and certain legal expenses. Analysts polled by Thomson First Call were looking for earnings of 17 cents a share for the first quarter.

New orders in the fourth quarter increased 26% from a year ago. Semtech reported a book-to-bill ratio above 1, with new orders exceeding shipments in the fourth quarter.

Operating profit rose 6.3% to $14.25 million in the fourth quarter while operating margin fell 80 basis points to 22.1%. Operating cash flow was about $20 million for the fourth quarter. Operating income rose 22% sequentially.

The company repurchased 724,000 shares at a cost of $13.9 million in the fourth quarter.

"While the first half of the year is typically impacted by seasonal trends in consumer products, the healthy semiconductor industry conditions and a broadening of the Company's end-markets are encouraging," Semtech said.
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