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Phone penetration boosts TriQuint's profit

Thanks largely to design wins in 97 new mobile phones during 2006, TriQuint swings to an annual net profit of more than $22 million.

Oregon-based TriQuint Semiconductor posted sales of $114.3 million in its final quarter of fiscal 2006, which ended on December 31.

Not only did that represent an impressive 35 percent increase on the equivalent quarter during the previous year, but it also propelled the GaAs chip manufacturer to a quarterly net profit of $6.4 million.

The company, which runs a 6-inch wafer fab in Oregon and a 4-inch facility in Texas, identified its relatively recent focus on the mobile handset market as the key reason behind the improved performance.

CEO Ralph Quinsey said: "TriQuint s design win success in 2006 placed us in approximately 97 new phone models, and we estimate [our] share in the handset market has grown to around 8-9 percent."

The market traction, which includes design wins at some of the top-ranking handset vendors, resulted in TriQuint shipping 43 million transmit modules during 2006 - compared with only 5 million the year before.

The company s technology portfolio is largely based on GaAs HBT and PHEMT transistors that are used in handset switch and power amplifier components.

For the full fiscal year, TriQuint sales just topped $400 million, and the company turned a pre-tax profit of $25.2 million. After accounting for stock compensation expenses, that profit figure dropped to $22.4 million. In 2005, it had made a $7.8 million net loss on sales of only $295 million.

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