Why TriQuint Semiconductor Shares Popped

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 thesis.

What: Shares of TriQuint Semiconductor (NASDAQ: TQNT  ) rose more than 10% during Thursday's intraday trading, then settled to close up around 6% after the company turned in better-than-expected fourth-quarter results.

So what: Quarterly revenue rose 7% year over year to $267.7 million, which translated to adjusted earnings of $0.16 per share. Analysts, on average, were looking for earnings of just $0.13 per share on sales of $265.93 million.

TriQuint also issued first quarter 2014 guidance, calling for revenue between $170 million and $180 million, largely because of "seasonality and a large customer's inventory correction in Mobile Device products." Meanwhile, TriQuint's Q1 adjusted net loss should be between $0.11 per share and $0.13 per share. By contrast, analysts were modeling net income of $0.04 per share on sales $223.61 million.

Nonetheless, thanks to higher gross margin from favorable product mix changes and operational efficiencies, TriQuint insisted that they believe full-year 2014 non-GAAP earnings per share will meet or beat analysts' consensus estimates of $0.49.

Now what: In the end, the combination of that assertion, and TriQuint's strong fourth-quarter results, seemed to be more than enough to appease the market. With shares currently trading at a reasonable 17.4 times this year's estimated earnings, patient long-term investors should stand to be rewarded if TriQuint can indeed deliver on its promise.

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