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What: Shares of EZchip Semiconductor (NASDAQ:EZCH) have tanked hard today, down by 26% at the low, after the company reported fourth-quarter earnings.

So what: Revenue in the fourth quarter totaled $15.2 million, resulting in non-GAAP net income of $7.8 million, or $0.26 per share. Those figures were ahead of consensus estimates, which were calling for $14 million in sales and $0.21 per share in adjusted profit. The company incurred a one-time charge of $9.9 million, or $0.22 per share, due to the early repayment to the Israeli Office of Chief Scientist.

Now what: There were some concerns over soft guidance, but Benchmark is defending the stock. Analyst Gary Mobley believes that product cycle ramps are still set to result in strong revenue growth, even if it's inconsistent at times. Benchmark is maintaining its buy rating on EZchip along with its $40 price target. Mobley thinks the concerns over key customers like Tellabs and Huawei are overblown.

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