Ixia shares jump on strong 2nd-quarter profit forecast

Fri Apr 20, 2012 11:02am EDT

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(Reuters) - Shares of Ixia (XXIA.O) rose as much as 18 percent on Friday, after the company's quarterly profit beat analysts' expectations and the provider of testing products to telecom operators forecast second-quarter earnings above estimates.

Victor Alston, who will become chief executive on May 10, plans to extend beyond Ixia's core expertise with the goal of doubling the total addressable market (TAM) in the next three to five years, Mizuho Securities analyst Joanna Makris wrote in a note to clients.

The company named Alston its Chief Operating Officer last month and said he would take over as chief executive from Atul Bhatnagar.

Wunderlich analyst Matthew Robison raised Ixia to "buy" from "hold" citing "solid first-quarter earnings and no sign of trouble in the CEO department."

In the current quarter, the company expects to earn 15 cents to 17 cents per share, excluding items, it said on a post-earnings conference call.

Analysts, on average, were expecting a profit of 15 cents per share, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

For the January-March quarter, Ixia earned 15 cents per share, excluding items, on revenue of $85.6 million.

Shares of the company, which has a market value of $793 million, were trading up 13 percent at $12.70 on the Nasdaq. They touched a high of $13.21 earlier in the session.

(Reporting by Sagarika Jaisinghani in Bangalore; Editing by Unnikrishnan Nair and Supriya Kurane)

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