RF Micro Devices
is well-positioned to weather the economic slowdown after undergoing a major restructuring effort earlier this year, according to CEO Bob Bruggeworth.
"What we made was a strategic change in our business," he told
in an interview at the company's annual analyst meeting Wednesday. "What we're doing is driving our operations much tighter and not taking risks."
Earlier this year, RFMD dumped its cell phone transceiver chip business and announced 350 job cuts in an attempt to shore up its sagging profitability. The company is already reaping the rewards of this strategy, according to Bruggeworth, who pointed to a slew of chip launches in recent months.
"What we're starting to see is a lot of our new product introductions, with much lower cost structures, now starting to ramp," he said. This has helped boost margins, added the chief executive.
Last month, the company said it pushed second-quarter operating margins up 13 percentage points to 7% from -6%. The company also forecast a sequential margin improvement, although Bruggeworth said that the company's October margins were a little better than anticipated.
The last few months have certainly been interesting for RFMD, which sells front-end components for cell phones and specialist communications chips for the likes of the military. The company managed to
in its second-quarter results, even as it swung to a loss due to restructuring charges.
RFMD also offered a forecast for the current quarter that wasn't as bleak as those offered by many of its fellow chipmakers. Rival
, for example, recently warned of a
sharp slowdown in business
, highlighted by lighter demand for its chips that power many of the world's mobile phones.
Bruggeworth said it's still too early to call RFMD's third quarter, but explained that the company is forging more partnerships to combat the tech spending slowdown.
The company announced a $1.4 million deal to develop next-generation communication technology for the Department of Defense on Wednesday. The funding will support the development of a semiconductor technology called Gallium Nitride, which lets radios handle different types of signal.
"It will handle multiple waveforms through the same radios, which allows the military to reduce their costs," said Bruggeworth. In addition to defense, RFMD is also aiming its Gallium Nitride technology at the aerospace and commercial sectors.
The Greensboro, N.C.-based firm also announced that two of its front-end cellular technologies had been selected for
's 3G handsets.
Shares of RFMD, which also competes
, rose 8 cents, or 6.39%, to $1.33, in trading Thursday.