Jan 21 IQE Plc said its core earnings
jumped about 49 percent in 2013, allaying concerns that slowing
growth in the global smartphone market was hurting the British
semiconductor materials maker.
IQE shares jumped as much as 10 percent after the company
also estimated 2013 revenue to be at least 126 million pounds
($207 million), up 43 percent from a year earlier.
The company, which makes parts for microchips used in
smartphones, tablets and GPS equipment, had warned in September
of short-term uncertainty due to weakness in the global
IQE's clients include chipmakers such as Skyworks Solutions
Inc, Triquint Semiconductor Inc and RF Micro
Devices Inc, which make chips for Apple Inc's
iPhone and Samsung Electronics Co's Galaxy phones.
Market research firm Gartner said last week that tablet
sales are expected to jump 47 percent this year, while mobile
phone sales are expected to continue to increase, but at a
Skyworks, one of IQE's biggest customers, reported a 44
percent jump in quarterly profit last week, helped by increased
demand for its chips and forecast second-quarter profit above
The Cardiff, Wales-based company estimated full-year
earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization
(EBITDA) of at least 24.5 million pounds ($40.23 million)
compared with 16.4 million pounds a year earlier.
Despite a weak guidance from a number of IQE's wireless
customers for the fourth quarter of 2013 and the current
quarter, the company reassured the market on Tuesday with
sequential growth in the second half.
Margins improved in the second half, suggesting that the
company benefited from recent acquisitions earlier than
expected, finnCap analyst Lorne Daniel said.
IQE, which is expected to report results in March, said it
was able to renew existing contracts with key wireless customers
towards the end of 2013.
IQE shares were up 6.7 percent at 27.7 pence at 1156 GMT on
Tuesday on the London Stock Exchange. The stock had lost 19
percent value since the warning in September.