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TriQuint slashes workforce

Posted: 03 May 2012 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:SAW filter? job cuts? packaging technology?

RF chip maker TriQuint Semiconductor Inc. cut about 70 jobs in Florida last week after issuing a disappointing quarterly report and sales forecast, according to a report by the South Florida Sun Sentinel.

The Sun Sentinel reported that TriQuint cut about 70 jobs last week in its 100mm surface acoustic wave (SAW) filter fab in Apopka, Florida. The company said last week it would cut an unspecified number of jobs in Florida and Costa Rica, where it has a SAW filter test and assembly facility.

TriQuint explained that the job cuts were part of a plan to restructure the company's filter-related operations. The company's stock price nose-dived last week after the company forecast a loss for the current quarter.

"We are rightsizing our factories in Florida and Costa Rica as we transition to [wafer-level packaging] and away from commodity duplexers toward a higher-value mix of products," said Ralph Quinsey, TriQuint's president and CEO, in a conference call with analysts following last week's quarterly report. Quinsey said the job cuts were "necessary" as the company moves to higher-valued products and next-generation packaging technology.

A spokesperson for TriQuint said the company is not revealing the total number of jobs that have been cut. No jobs are being eliminated outside of Florida or Costa Rica, the spokesperson said. Most of the jobs eliminated were in operations, the spokesperson said.

TriQuint reported first quarter sales of $216.7 million, down 5 percent from the previous quarter and down 3 percent compared to the first quarter of 2011. TriQuint reported a net income for the quarter of $1.9 million, down 56 percent compared to the previous quarter and down 85 percent compared to the first quarter of 2011.

TriQuint sales

But TriQuint said it expects sales for the current quarter to fall to between $170 million and $185 million. The company said it expects to report a loss on a pro forma basis, excluding charges and special items, of 10 to 15 cents per share due to weak revenue and higher litigation costs. TriQuint said it expects sales to return to higher levels in the second half of the year.

During the conference call, Quinsey said the second quarter revenue decrease would be driven largely by lower demand from TriQuint's largest customer, Hon Hai Precision Industry Co. Ltd., the giant Taiwanese contract manufacturer that operates under the trade name Foxconn Technology Group. Foxconn, which accounted for 37 percent of TriQuint's first quarter sales, makes products on a contract manufacturing basis for Apple Inc. and other firms.

TriQuint also announced it would restructure its filter-related operations in the second quarter as part of a planned transition in filter packaging technology and due to a change in product mix. The company said it would record a restructuring charge of $12 million to $14 million for excess equipment and severance costs.

- Dylan McGrath
??EE Times

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