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CSR Shares Climb As It Turns To Profit, Plans Share Buyback Of Up To $50 Mln

2/20/2012 7:48 AM ET

The shares of CSR Plc (CSR.L,CSRE: Quote, CSRXF.PK) climbed around 20 percent on London Stock Exchange after the British chipmaker reported a profit for its fourth quarter, compared to prior year's loss. The company also announced a higher dividend and up to $50 million share repurchase program.

For the fourth quarter, revenue improved on the acquisition of Zoran. Excluding Zoran, revenues decreased 9.6 percent as strong growth in the Automotive market was more than offset by a decline in Personal Navigation Devices or PND.

The decline in PND reflected the moving of navigation and location capabilities towards in-dash navigation and location capabilities carried by smartphones, and by market share loss in the PND area.

Underlying gross margin grew 2.3 percentage points to 51 percent from 48.7 percent last year. Chief Executive Officer Joep van Beurden said, "We continue to see good momentum in our transition to being a provider of higher-margin platforms to multiple end markets, which now include cameras and document imaging, and this is reflected in our improving underlying gross margin."

Further, the company said the Board is recommending a final dividend of $0.071, resulting in a full year 2011 dividend of $0.103 per ordinary share, 5 percent higher than last year's notional dividend.

The Board has announced a share buy-back of up to $50 million which will commence immediately.

Looking ahead for the first quarter, the company said it expects revenues to be in the range of $205 million to $225 million.

"We expect the trends for further growth in the automotive market and ongoing weakness in the PND market to continue," the company added.

CSR's fourth-quarter IFRS profit was $19.35 million or $0.10 per share compared to loss of $27.3 million or $0.16 per share last year. The results were benefited by a $71.52 million tax credit, higher than last year. The results also included $41.1m of acquisition related charges.

On an underlying basis, the company reported loss of $4.9 million or $0.02 per share for the fourth quarter versus profit of $12.5 million or $0.07 per share a year ago.

On a pre-tax basis, the company posted a loss of $52.17 million, narrower than prior year's $58.34 million.

Revenue for the three-month period improved to $244 million from $184.8 million in the prior year.

In London, CSR shares are currently trading at 273.85 pence, up 46.15 pence or 20.27 percent.

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by RTT Staff Writer

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