InterDigital Doesn't Disappoint

Wireless technology developer and Motley Fool Stock Advisor recommendation InterDigital Communications (Nasdaq: IDCC  ) showered the market with treats in its third-quarter earnings release Halloween morning. The company reported solid revenue and earnings, as well as continued optimism for the full year.

Some of the good news included third-quarter net income of $8.7 million, or $0.18 per diluted share on revenue of $56.5 million. As reported in the company's news release, recurring royalty revenue, which was 17% higher than the recurring revenue reported last year, made up all of the revenue this quarter. Just like the retired couple down the street who dump full-sized candy bars in your plastic pumpkin each year, investors love seeing millions of dollars repeatedly plopped at the feet of their company each quarter.

Three major customers -- LG, Sharp, and NEC -- were responsible for the bulk of this royalty revenue; 26%, 24%, and 13%, respectively. In future quarters, royalty revenue should be more evenly distributed when you include other licensees Nokia (NYSE: NOK  ) , Research In Motion (Nasdaq: RIMM  ) , and Apple (Nasdaq: AAPL  ) .

Consistent with recent quarters, expenses were up at InterDigital. In the third quarter, operating expenses were up $9.2 million over last year to $46 million. While this is a slight dip from expenses in the second quarter, significant sums are still being spent on patent litigation and maintenance, as well as development efforts on the new ASIC product.

With the stock near its 52-week low thanks to a dip in recurring revenue in the second quarter, the company decided to put more of its cash to work,  announcing a new $100 million share-buyback plan. This comes on the heels of a $350 million buyback completed in the second quarter. Like cash-rich peer Qualcomm (Nasdaq: QCOM  ) , InterDigital is hoping to capitalize on a lower share price to increase shareholder value.

Overall, for the third quarter, most of the news was the sugar-packed Pixy Stix kind. Some tricks still lurk in the shadows, as several disputes in arbitration or litigation could rear their ugly, swamp-goo-covered heads. Should InterDigital find a way to settle disputes with Samsung and Nokia, the holidays may reveal a few more sugar plums for investors.

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