After the close last night, TriQuint Semiconductor, Inc. (TQNT - 6.39) took its turn on the corporate earnings stage, and released its fourth-quarter report. TQNT saw its quarterly earnings plummet 90% to $4.3 million, or 3 cents per share, compared to $42.5 million, or 25 cents per share, in the year-ago period. Excluding items, profit came in at 8 cents per share. Revenue, meanwhile, declined 10% to $227 million. However, the results surpassed expectations, as analysts forecast a per-share profit of 7 cents on $219.1 million in sales. For it first quarter, the Oregon-based business is predicting adjusted earnings of 1 cent to 3 cents per share on $210 million to $220 million in revenue, compared to Wall Street's estimate for a profit of 3 cents per share on $203 million in revenue.
TQNT's lackluster outlook weighed heavily on the stock, knocking it down more than 6.5% just after midday, and compounding its near 50% 12-month decline. Nonetheless, the shares have rocketed more than 40% since the beginning of the year, outperforming the broader S&P 500 Index (SPX) by over 36% during the last 40 sessions. As a result of this recent uptrend, TQNT's Relative Strength Index (RSI) now rests at 75 -- in overbought territory -- suggesting the shares were due for a pullback. At last check, the stock is faltering below the $7 level, which has limited all but one weekly close since early September 2011.
On the sentiment front, TQNT could be prone to downgrades, should the shares continue to tumble. Zacks tallies five "buy" or better ratings for the stock, compared to five tepid "holds" and only one "sell" suggestion. If any of the lingering brokerage bulls jump ship, the resulting selling pressure could worsen TQNT's pullback. However, the only analyst note so far today is a price-target hike to $6 from $5 at Barclays.
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