(Adds analysts' comments, details)
By John Tilak
BANGALORE, Oct 30 (Reuters) - SiRF Technology Holdings Inc SIRF.O posted better-than-expected quarterly results, helped by strength in the personal navigation device market, sending shares up 19 percent.
The maker of chipsets for global positioning systems also forecast fourth-quarter earnings above analysts' expectations, citing strong demand for its products across all market segments.
Shares of the San Jose, California-based company were trading at $27.74 in late electronic trade, after closing at $23.30 Tuesday on the Nasdaq.
"The company is remaining highly successful in the personal navigation device market and it is seeing early signs of growth in the handset market," Stanford Group analyst Chris Chaney said by phone.
The company commands a market share of 70 percent among suppliers of chipsets to personal navigation device makers, Chaney said.
Chaney said the company, whose chips are used by top navigation device makers Garmin (GRMN.O) and TomTom (TOM2.AS), recently had over 10 design wins with Motorola Inc MOT.N. Promate, a Taiwanese distributor that sells SiRF chips to TomTom, contributed 35 percent to revenue in the third quarter.
Chief Executive Michael Canning said "2007 continues to be a strong year for GPS applications and a strong year for SiRF."
Third-quarter net income, excluding items, rose to $17.6 million, or 29 cents a share, from $12.2 million, or 22 cents a share, a year ago. Revenue rose 43 percent to $91.2 million, SiRF said in a statement.
Analysts expected earnings of 22 cents a share, excluding items, on revenue of $85.7 million, according to Reuters Estimates.
Including items, the company posted a loss of $16.1 million, or 28 cents a share, compared with net income of $2.6 million, or 5 cents a share, a year ago.
Personal navigation devices are on track to achieve year-on-year unit growth of about 100 percent, Canning said.
Canning said one of SiRF's tier-one customers launched its first GPS-enabled handset, and that its customer Research In Motion Ltd RIMM.O RIM.TO continued to launch GPS-enabled products.
American Technology Research analyst Jeff Schreiner said wireless units ticked higher than most investors had expected.
"The outlook was driven by strong, continued growth for PNDs along with additional wireless opportunities emerging for the company," Schreiner said by phone.
The company expects fourth-quarter earnings of 31 cents to 33 cents a share, on revenue of $99 million to $102 million, Canning said in a conference call.
Analysts were expecting earnings of 26 cents a share, excluding exceptional items, on revenue of $98.3 million.
For 2007, SiRF forecast revenue of $328 million to $331 million. Analysts were expecting $321.8 million.