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Neutral on TriQuint

TQNT

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We recently reiterated our Neutral recommendation on TriQuint Semiconductor Inc. (TQNT - Analyst Report), ahead of the company’s first quarter results on April 25, 2012.

TriQuint expects revenues between $210 million and $220 million in the first quarter of 2012. Management continues to see excellent growth opportunities in smartphones, tablets and other consumer devices with expanding RF content. Between 2010 and 2012, smartphones are expected to double in volume from about 300 million units to over 600 million units.

We expect TriQuint to continue to benefit from improving trends in the handset and networking business. Management continues to see excellent growth opportunities in smartphones, tablets and other consumer devices with expanding RF content. Between 2010 and 2012, smartphones are expected to double in volume from about 300 million units to over 600 million units.

TriQuint Semiconductor is among the leading players in the handset market. New users and new applications are creating unprecedented growth in this traffic and this in turn, requires more infrastructure equipment supported by TriQuint's products.

Demand remains strong in the networks business, too. RF content for WLAN has increased due to the need for greater data rates and faster access. LTE deployments across North America are expected to propel demand further.

Gross margin is projected between 30% and 31% as improved product mix will be largely offset by costs associated with the new Texas 6-inch line. Operating expenses are estimated around $62 million, including $4.5 million of litigation expense. EPS is forecasted around $0.01 and $0.03.

However, earnings estimates have declined significantly after the company reported weak results for the fourth quarter. We do not see any catalyst in the near term to drive the stock further.

Given the clouded economic environment, we would like to be on the sidelines as of now, and therefore maintain a Neutral rating on the stock. Our Neutral recommendation is supported by Zacks #3 Rank, which translates into a short-term rating of Hold.

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