Semiconductors licensing company Rambus (Nasdaq: RMBS ) posted a humongous revenue jump in the third quarter and managed to post a profit after two quarters of losses. But let's read between the lines and find out what lies beneath and ahead before we mark its turnaround to profitability as a truly exciting prospect.
Looking beyond the jump
Rambus saw its revenues skyrocket by a staggering 216% to $100.3 million from the year-ago period. Don't read too much into that, though, as the company recognized revenues from new licensing agreements in previous quarters.
Among its recent deals, Rambus signed a licensing agreement with an established smartphone company (whose name the company won't reveal) for providing cryptography research and other services. Rambus' latest high-profile client could be anyone from Apple to HTC, Motorola Mobility (NYSE: MMI ) , or Samsung, all of which are established players in this segment. So the road ahead could be interesting, but there isn't enough information yet to know how lucrative the deal will be.
The pipeline, meanwhile, has some more fuel in it to provide fatter revenues in the future, and Rambus' acquisition of Cryptography Research earlier this year plays an important role in that regard as well.
Rambus has another potential ace up its sleeve: It's currently entangled in a legal tussle with Micron Technology (Nasdaq: MU ) , against which it filed a lawsuit alleging that Micron fixed the prices of DRAM chips to hurt Rambus' prospects. It seems the verdict may go in Rambus' favor, in which case the company can gain as much as $12 billion under California Law -- until or unless an out-of-court settlement is agreed upon for a lower amount.
The Foolish takeaway
With its ballooning revenues and the potential for a big court settlement, Rambus looks poised to perform well for the remaining year. But it's hard to say what the long-term prospects are. Had Rambus thrown a little more light on the licensing deals, it would have given me some more fodder to be bullish about the company. For now, I suggest adding it to your Watchlist so that you don't miss out on its next big deal.