The third quarter was a massive hit. Sales came in at $126 million, 20% above the previous quarter and 11% over the year-ago period's record level. Earnings per share of $0.47 more than doubled the previous quarter's GAAP profits and compared even better to the $0.02 per share seen a year ago. And remember that we're comparing last year's pre-meltdown numbers to the recession-tinged business of 2009.
That's the kind of fat, juicy bacon I'm talking about.
Many a stock would ride a report like that to a healthy jump in share prices, but in this case, Mr. Market barely shrugged. I suppose the good news had already been priced into Silicon Labs' valuation. With a 66% 52-week climb, this stock has outperformed every rival over the last year -- from giants like Texas Instruments
Management was so pleased with these results that they started a $150 million share repurchase program, which is a shareholder-friendly use of spare cash.
Five out of Silicon Labs' eight product lines managed to post a record level of earnings, led by a 40% sales jump in the radio-frequency department. Korean electronics guru Samsung, which appears to be the largest customer for such chips, is ramping up chip orders to make a big push in this year's holiday shopping season.
Silicon Labs also added two faceless "marquee names" to its FM radio customer list, including one media player specialist and one handset maker. FM tuners are a rare feature in cell phones today, found mostly in fancier Nokia
And if not, Silicon Labs is hedging its bets. A new range of touchpad controllers, IR sensors, and light sensors was announced alongside the earnings. CEO Necip Sayiner believes that he's got the best human interface chips on the market: "We have a significantly better solution in terms of power efficiency," he said. "And I don't mean just two times or three times better, I'm talking about orders of magnitude better due to the approach that we have taken." Are Cypress Semiconductor
Sure, Sayiner could be projecting empty hopes and braggadocio here. But Silicon Labs has the track record to show that it can walk the talk. Stay tuned as this small-cap Stock Advisor pick grows up before our very eyes.
Fool contributor Anders Bylund holds no position in any of the companies discussed here. Silicon Laboratories is a Motley Fool Stock Advisor pick. Nokia is a Motley Fool Inside Value selection. Try any of our Foolish newsletters today, free for 30 days. You can check out Anders' holdings and a concise bio if you like, and The Motley Fool is investors writing for investors.