TiVo results beat estimates, patents in focus

NEW YORK Wed Aug 24, 2011 6:52pm EDT

NEW YORK (Reuters) - TiVo Inc, a maker of digital video recorders, reported second-quarter results on Wednesday that beat expectations and said it is looking at ways to boost the value of its patents.

Shares of the company rose more than 9 percent in after-hours trade.

TiVo (TIVO.O) stands to benefit from the recent surge in interest in tech patents, in light of Google (GOOG.O) buying Motorola Mobility (MMI.N) in August and the Nortel patent auction earlier in the summer.

As companies scramble to secure patents, analysts have been identifying TiVo as a holder of valuable intellectual property related to digital recording.

Chief Executive Tom Rogers said the company is looking at ways to tap the value of its patents, but he declined to provide further details.

"We like the whole environment that is putting focus on patent value and we think that there is certainly going to be a lot of increased attention on advanced television as a sector. We are exploring various ways of looking how to accelerate that value," he said in an interview.

When an analyst on the conference call asked Rogers if TiVo would license, sell or spin off its patents, he said those options were "worthy of consideration" but did not elaborate.

So far, TiVo's strategy has been to cash out on its patents in court. In May, it settled a drawn out court case with Dish Network (DISH.O) and won $600 million in licensing fees and damages.

It recorded $11 million in revenue in the second quarter thanks to the Dish settlement.

The company is currently in litigation with Motorola, AT&T (T.N) and Verizon (VZ.N) and said it expects to go to trial in October. TiVo's patents become more valuable once they have been tested in court, Rogers said.

"You're seeing a lot of focus on patent value, but the overwhelming number of patents that are changing hands have never been tested. Ours have been battle-tested, and the more battle-tested they are, the more valuable they are," he said.

For the third quarter, TiVo said it would have net loss of $27 million to $29 million. This is a bigger loss than analysts were expecting.

In the second quarter, TiVo lost $19 million, or 17 cents per share, compared with a loss of $14.3 million, or 13 cents a share, in the same period a year ago. TiVo beat Wall Street estimates by 4 cents, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Revenue rose 19 percent to $61.1 million from $51.5 million a year earlier. This beat analysts' expectations of $48.31 million.

The company is also gaining traction with its new strategy of licensing its recorder technology to cable operators. Earlier on Wednesday, it said it would provide Texas-based Grande Communications with DVRs exclusively.

Its stock was at $8.85 per share in after hours trading after closing at $8.12 per share on the Nasdaq.

(Editing by Andre Grenon and Steve Orlofsky)

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