Atheros Communications

(ATHR)

nearly tripled its net income in the third quarter, as the chipmaker announced plans to expand into new markets.

Atheros said it acquired networking-equipment chipmaker

Attansic Technology

after Monday's market close, along with reporting its own solid financial results that came in a tad above analysts' expectations.

Shares of Atheros climbed 11 cents after hours to $20.10.

The Santa Clara, Calif., company said it generated $79.6 million in sales during the three months ended Sept. 30, compared with $45.8 million in the year-ago period. Net income of $6.3 million, or 11 cents a share, was up sharply from the $2.2 million, or 4 cents a share, that Atheros posted in the third quarter of 2005.

Excluding stock based compensation expenses, a tax benefit and certain acquisition related charges, Atheros said it earned 19 cents a share.

On that basis, Wall Street analysts expected Atheros to earn 18 cents a share on sales of $79 million. According to Thomson Financial.

Atheros makes wireless networking chips for PCs and other devices. The company said it has recently shipped its 75 millionth wireless LAN chipset.

"Even as our core wireless businesses are gaining strength, we are continuing our expansion into new, complementary markets," CEO Craig Barratt said in a press release.

He said the Attansic acquisition will enable Atheros to drive the adoption of new wireless communications technologies, while immediately giving Atheros a leading position in the PC LAN-on-motherboard market.

Atheros will pay $46.5 million in cash and $25 million in stock for the privately held Taiwanese chip company.

"This acquisition propels us further along our diversification path, enabling us to offer a comprehensive platform for products as we pursue our long-term goal of building several best-in-class businesses that benefit form our technology leadership, strong customer relationships and low-cost integration capabilities," said Barratt.