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Hittite enjoys huge gains on surging sales

Thanks to a booming market and a raft of new products, fabless chip designer Hittite Microwave has more than doubled its quarterly profit over last year's figure.

Hittite Microwave, the fabless Chelmsford, MA, company that sells a vast range of GaAs, SiGe and silicon-based ICs, has reported a sharp upturn in both revenue and profit.

The firm posted sales of $34.6 million during the three-month period that ended on September 30 - an increase of more than 60 per cent compared with the same quarter in 2005.

Thanks to its lean cost structure, Hittite translated those sales into a profit of $11.6 million. That figure is more than double the $5 million profit that it posted one year ago.

"Favorable market conditions and product mix allowed us to deliver strong results," commented Hittite CEO Stephen Daly, who pointed out that the company had launched no fewer than 20 new products during the past three months.

Those include a range of nine new GaAs MMIC receivers operating at up to 28 GHz. These receivers, which are available as bare die and manufactured at one of Hittite's many foundry partners, are typically used in radio architectures for military and back-haul links, as well as satellite-based communication.

Hittite s success means that it is now ranked among the top ten GaAs device vendors by the market research company Strategy Analytics. It is also the highest-ranked fabless firm.

Despite the strong financial report, Hittite shares dropped 10 per cent in value after the announcement was made, perhaps a reflection of Daly's guidance for the next quarter. He said that revenue growth will be relatively flat, and expects sales of $34 million-$35 million, with an associated net profit of around $10.6 million.

Hittite's share value has raced up ever since its stock-market debut in July 2005. Initially priced at $17 for that flotation, each Hittite share tipped $50 earlier this month before settling back to just over $40 more recently.

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