Audio company Audience sees fast growth, even with less Apple

Thu Jan 31, 2013 10:14pm EST
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By Noel Randewich

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Audience Inc seems to be doing pretty well, even with less of Apple: the audio technology company forecast quarterly revenue well above Wall Street's expectations, helped by more business from Samsung and other smartphone makers.

Shares of Audience jumped 24 percent in after hours trading, after the company said Thursday that it expected revenue between $43 million and $46 million in the March quarter, versus analysts' average estimate of $31.8 million, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Audience, which went public in May 2012, saw its stock slump 58 percent in a single session last September on news that Apple Inc, to which it had been a supplier since 2008, would likely drop its noise-filtering technology in future iPhones, including the iPhone 5.

Its quarterly report underscored the increasing opportunity for Apple's suppliers to look to Samsung Electronics Co Ltd and other mobile device makers to fuel their growth as the iPhone and iPad face stiffer competition.

"Most people bought this stock at the IPO because it was an Apple business. But there's life without Apple," said Jay Srivatsa, an analyst at Chardan Capital Markets.

Audience executives said that more business from Samsung and other smartphone makers would offset dwindling revenue from Apple as fewer and fewer older iPhones that use its technology are sold.

Audience's chief executive, Peter Santos, told Reuters that as growth in smartphone sales moderates, manufacturers would fight more for market share.

"This idea that things stay the way they are - that Apple has a dominant position - I think we're seeing early signs that that's not going to be a permanent situation," Santos said. "What they've done and continue to do is great, but the world is much bigger."   Continued...