30 April 2010


TriQuint grows 52% despite dip from last quarter

RF front-end product and foundry services provider TriQuint Semiconductor Inc of Hillsboro, OR, USA has reported first-quarter 2010 revenue of $180.8m, down 6.5% on $193.3m last quarter though more than the forecast $170–175m and up 52% on $118.9m a year ago.

TriQuint produces devices for three sectors: Mobile Devices (63% of sales in Q1/2010), Networks (25%), and Defense & Aerospace (12%). During 2009, the firm reclassified wireless networking devices (WLAN) from Networks into Mobile Devices (5% of total billings in Q1/2010). The year-on-year (Y/Y) increases in sales in these sectors were networks 42%, mobile 63% and defense 35%. The network market came in above company expectations, suggesting a recovery in the sector that president & CEO Ralph Quinsey says “appears to be broad-based across many of our network customers”.

In the defense sector, TriQuint receives R&D support directly from government and industry sources and contributes devices to advanced radar systems destined for installation in Joint Strike Fighter, Unmanned Aerial Vehicles, and radar retrofits for F-15, F-16, and F-18 fighters. The direct defense R&D investment was up 37% over Q1/2009. For the radar sector, the increase was 70%.

Utilization in the company’s gallium arsenide facility is 76% (much better than a typical first quarter, due to better-than-seasonal revenue and expected strong revenue growth into the second quarter). However, Quinsey comments that this “metric is not a good indicator of growth or growth potential as we have been and will continue to increase capacity.”

Nevertheless, together with improved product sales mix, increased utilization has contributed to non-GAAP basis gross margin rising from just 21% a year ago and 38.4% last quarter to 39% (exceeding the forecast 36–38%).

Compared to a loss of $11m a year ago, non-GAAP net income was $18.7m, although this is down from $22.6m last quarter.

During the quarter, cash flow from operations was $12.1m, and cash, cash equivalents, and investments rose to $159.6m ($1.00 per diluted share). Capital spending was $12.9m, compared with depreciation of $11.6m.

For second-quarter 2010, TriQuint expects revenue of $200–210m , up more than 13% sequentially. Solid demand in Networks and strong factory utilization should lead to non-GAAP gross margin rising to about 40%. Non-GAAP operating expenses are expected to rise from Q1/2010’s $55m to $57–58m, largely to cover a $3m legal expense from litigation with Avago, as well as increases in R&D and selling expenses.

Growth in cash is expected to be modest due to increased capital expenditure and working capital. Capacity expansion (largely at the firm’s GaAs facility in Oregon begun several months ago) will start to have an impact on TriQuint’s operation in June. The increase in capacity Oregon should be 15–20%.

See related items:

TriQuint grows a more-than-expected 12% in Q4/09

TriQuint’s growth slows prior to expected Q4 pick-up

TriQuint’s revenue rises 42% sequentially

TriQuint sees demand return as handset inventory burns off

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The author Mike Cooke is a freelance technology journalist who has worked in the semiconductor and advanced technology sectors since 1997.