Profit Slumps at RF Micro

Demand wanes in Asia.
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RF Micro Devices (RFMD) reported a smaller third-quarter profit and weaker revenue Tuesday as demand for its wireless chips abated. It also forecast current-quarter results below analysts' expectations.

Shares of the company, which manufactures semiconductors for mobile phone makers, slid 7.6%, or 42 cents, to $5.08 on the news. They closed the regular session up 6 cents to $5.50.

RF Micro said after the bell that its third-quarter profit fell to $582,000, or break-even earnings per share, from $28.2 million, or 13 cents a share, a year earlier.

Excluding items in the latest quarter, the company earned $3.6 million, or 2 cents a share.

Revenue was $168.9 million, a decrease of 12.5%, compared with $193.0 million for the same period last year and an increase of 13.3% vs. revenue of $149.1 million from the September quarter.

On this basis, the company beat analysts' expectations of pro forma earnings of a penny a share and revenue of $164.4 million.

RF Micro said the year-over-year decline in quarterly revenue reflected continued weakness in the market for GSM/GPRS cellular handsets in Asia as well as a decline in the U.S. market for TDMA handsets. These declines were partially offset by strength among certain tier-one handset manufacturers in Wideband CDMA and EDGE and share gains in the market for cellular transceivers.

The Greensboro, N.C.-based company estimated that its results for the current fiscal fourth-quarter would decrease to 3 cents or 4 cents a share on sales in the low- to- mid-$150 million range. Excluding unusual items, the company said loss for the quarter would be 1 cent to 3 cents a share.

Wall Street estimates call for a break-even performance for the fourth quarter on sales of $157 million.