Novatel Hits Reduced Targets

The wireless laptop enabler posts a fourth-quarter profit.
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Novatel Wireless' (NVTL) fourth-quarter earnings met recently lowered targets.

The laptop wireless "air-card" maker posted net income of $5.2 million, or 17 cents a share, on sales of $33.4 million. Those figures compare with a year-ago loss of $2.1 million on $10.6 million in revenue.

For the year, Novatel earned $13.7 million on sales of $103.7 million, a substantial increase from the $16.7 million loss on revenue of $33.8 million in 2003.

Last month, Novatel said sales for the fourth quarter ended in December would be in the $32 million-$34 million range. Analysts had been expecting $36 million for the quarter, according to Reuters Research.

"We believe that Novatel Wireless is clearly establishing itself as the world leader in 3G wireless data cards," CEO Peter Leparulo said in an earnings release Thursday.

Shares of the mobile Net access gearmaker jumped 27 cents, or 2%, to $12.30 in postclose trading Thursday.

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