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Why MaxLinear, Inc. Stock Popped Today

By Steve Symington - Jan 6, 2016 at 3:48PM

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The integrated circuit company just raised guidance and sees a strong start to 2016. Here's why.

What: Shares of MaxLinear (MXL 1.72%) were up 17% as of 3:00 p.m. ET Wednesday after the RF and mixed-signal integrated circuit specialist released preliminary fourth-quarter 2015 results and guidance for the current quarter.

So what: MaxLinear now expects fourth-quarter revenue to be roughly $99 million, near the high end of its previous guidance for between $95 million and $100 million. Analysts, on average, were anticipating revenue of $97.3 million.

MaxLinear CEO Kishore Seendripu credited the guidance increase to "relative strength across our business toward the end of the fourth quarter 2015 [...]." He added, "More significantly, the stronger-than-anticipated demand environment has led to improved visibility into the first quarter 2015. [...] We expect strength to come from increased demand for our market leading satellite and cable front-ends, Legacy Video SoCs used in cable HD-DTA deployments, and a continued ramp in our emerging high-speed optical interconnect products."

As a result, MaxLinear also offered preliminary first-quarter 2016 guidance for revenue to be flat to up 5%, good for a range of $99 million to $104 million. Consensus estimates on Wall Street were calling for significantly lower first-quarter revenue of $91.3 million. 

Now what: That's not to say this news comes as a huge surprise. MaxLinear has a history of underpromising and overdelivering, and the stock enjoyed similar pops in both June and September last year after the company's existing guidance proved conservative.

But with MaxLinear stock having more than doubled over the past year, you also won't find shareholders complaining. In the end, as long as MaxLinear sustains its broad strength and with shares now trading at a reasonable 12.2 times next year's expected earnings, I see no reason the stock won't continue to rise from here.

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