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Chipmaker Marvell's profit doubles; expects pickup in mobile

By Aditi Shrivastava

(Reuters) - Chipmaker Marvell Technology Group Ltd reported a more-than-expected 112 percent rise in profit, helped by strong demand from storage and networking companies, and said it expected its mobile business to pick up in the current quarter.

Marvell forecast first-quarter revenue between $870 and $910 million, above analysts' average estimate of $848.94 million, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

"In the first quarter, we are expecting some revenue and unit growth for our 4G LTE mobile platform from multiple customers," Chief Executive Sehat Sutardja said on a post-earnings conference call with analysts.

Marvell said results were softer than it expected in the mobile business in the fourth quarter as some customers delayed product launches.

Marvell's chips are used to write data on hard-disk drives and helps store more data on a smaller surface.

The company, which also makes communications and processor products used in mobile phones, said net income doubled to $106.6 million, or 21 cents per share, in the quarter ended February 1 from $50.2 million, or 9 cents per share, a year earlier.

"(Marvell) has shown some of the strongest revenue growth in the industry, especially given the end-market exposure where unit growth has been limited," RBC Capital Markets analyst Doug Freedman said.

On an adjusted basis, the company earned 29 cents per share, 4 cents more than analysts' expectation.

Revenue rose to $931.7 million, beating analysts' estimate of $901.1 million.

Marvell's biggest customer Western Digital Corp reported better-than-expected quarterly results in January, citing strength in its gaming and notebook business.

Shares of Santa Clara, California-based Marvell were down 3 percent at $15.95 in trading after the bell.

They have risen as much as 6 percent in the last five days, mainly due to short covering, Freedman said.

The stock, which have risen more than 70 percent in the last 12 months, closed at $16.12 on the Nasdaq on Thursday.

(Additional reporting by Lehar Maan Editing by Savio D'Souza and Don Sebastian)

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