Why RF Micro's Shares Cratered

Although we don't believe in timing the market or panicking over market movements, we do like to keep an eye on big changes -- just in case they're material to our investing thesis.

What: Shares of chip maker RF Micro Devices (Nasdaq: RFMD  ) were shorting out today, falling as much as 19% in intraday trading after the company reported fiscal first-quarter results.

So what: The results from RF Micro's current quarter weren't all that bad -- at least compared with expectations. Though the company reported a net loss for the quarter, on an adjusted basis it eked out a $0.01-per-share profit, which was precisely what analysts were expecting. On the top line, revenue was $202.7 million, down 5% from last year, but slightly above the $201.9 million that Wall Street was looking for.

Now what: What sent investors packing, however, was the company's forecast that adjusted earnings per share would be between breakeven and $0.01 in the September quarter. Analysts had figured on $0.04 in per-share profit for that period. The question that investors need to grapple with is whether this is a slowdown worth worrying about, or whether this is merely a timing issue that RF Micro is facing with its customers. There seems legitimate reason to believe the latter, as companies that use its cellular radio frequency chips for mobile devices are gearing up for product launches later in the year.

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Fool contributor Matt Koppenheffer has no financial interest in any of the companies mentioned. You can check out what Matt is keeping an eye on by visiting his CAPS portfolio, or you can follow Matt on Twitter, @KoppTheFool, or on Facebook. The Fool's disclosure policy prefers dividends over a sharp stick in the eye.


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