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Sigma Designs ( SIGM) reported on March 4, 2009 that its Q4 FY09 earnings dropped 81.4%, hurt by lower revenue and higher operating expenses. Net income plummeted to $6.58 million or $0.24 per share from $35.30 million or $1.12 per share in Q4 FY08. Non-GAAP net income decreased 60.2% to $10.13 million or $0.38 per share, exceeding the consensus estimate of $0.18 per share.

Net revenue fell 38.1% to $47.31 million from $76.40 million in the year-ago quarter. The cost of revenue dropped 33.4% to $25.95 million from $38.95 million, but gross margin fell to 45.14% from 49.02%. Research and development costs surged 18.5% to $11.19 million and sales and marketing expenses rose 42.0% to $3.58 million. General and administrative expenses fell 18.9% to $3.77 million. Total operating expenses spiked 11.6% to $18.54 million from $16.60 million, and operating margin declined to 5.96% from 27.29% in Q4 FY08.

Sigma Designs acquired Zensys Holdings, a wireless start-up company developing RF transceivers for home control. The company secured an order from Spain-based Blusens for its SMP8634 (Secure Media Processor) and from Lung Hwa Electronics for its CoAir Ultra Wideband chipset. DivX signed a license agreement with Sigma to incorporate its technology in a range of integrated circuit solutions for consumer electronics products.

FY08 revenue decreased 5.4% to $209.16 million from $221.21 million in FY07. Higher operating expenses and lower revenue caused a 62.4% drop in earnings to $26.42 million or $0.95 per share from $70.21 million or $2.46 per share in FY07.

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