Audience Inc shares surge on strong first-quarter forecast

Thu Jan 31, 2013 6:36pm EST

Jan 31 (Reuters) - Audience Inc forecast first-quarter results well above analysts' estimates as the audio chip maker diversified its customer base away from Apple Inc's iPhone, sending its shares up more than 25 percent in extended trade.

The company expects to earn between 15 cents and 19 cents per share on revenue of about $43 million to $46 million in the quarter ending March 31.

Analysts had expected the company, whose products are used in such devices as Samsung smartphones and the Google Nexus 10 tablet, to earn 1 cent per share on revenue of $31.8 million.

"This expected sequential growth comes from our business from Samsung, continued strength of Apple's older iPhone models and the results of our diversification efforts," Chief Financial Officer Kevin Palatnik said in a post-earnings call.

The company's stock, which went public at $17 last May, plunged in September after Audience warned that its technology was unlikely to be used in the latest iPhone.

The Mountain View, California-based company said on Thursday that Samsung, the world's largest smartphone maker, now accounts for more than half its sales.

Audience's shares, which had briefly plunged 25 percent on Tuesday on false rumors of fraud, were trading at $15.30 after the bell. They closed at $12.22 on the Nasdaq on Thursday.

The company reported net income of $3.1 million or 14 cents per share for the fourth quarter, as revenue more than doubled to $38.7 million.

Analysts on average were expecting it to earn 10 cents per share on revenue of $37 million, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

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