February 10, 2011 / 1:20 PM / 7 years ago

UPDATE 2-Wi-LAN to expand into Internet, software patents

* Sees FY11 earnings $75-$80 mln

* Doubles annual dividend to C$0.10 per share

* Sees to grow rev by 20-30 pct annually

BANGALORE, Feb 10 (Reuters) - Canadian patent licensing company Wi-LAN Inc plans to venture into software and internet patent licensing, even as it focuses on its strong wireless portfolio, Chief Executive Jim Skippen told Reuters.

“Internet applications is an area we’re looking at, seeing if we can expand into that, because that’s a completely new territory for us,” Skippen said.

Wi-LAN is also looking to expand into the display space, he said.

“We do have a number of patents that cover display, but we would like to strengthen what we have there.”

Wi-LAN’s core focus is on wireless technology, where it holds about 525 patents, with a slew of patents in wireline and v-chip technology, the technology that goes into TV sets.

For 2011, the company expects adjusted earnings of $75-$80 million, on revenue of $110-$115 million. Skippen hopes to grow revenue by 20-30 percent on an annual basis.

“We would like to see the business having revenues in excess of $200 million by 2015,” he said.

Skippen expects a big chunk of the revenue growth to come from 3G and 4G technology, besides Bluetooth, DSL, cable products and v-chip products.

He cited Apple Inc and Taiwan-based HTC Corp as examples of handset vendors who are as yet unlicensed.

Wi-LAN acquired about 100 patents related to wireless and antenna technology in mobile handset devices in the last quarter.

“We have a number of acquisitions we are currently considering. We’re looking at both patent portfolios and some companies,” Skippen said, adding that competitor Mosaid Technologies Inc was not on his radar.

The Ottawa-based company, which has made a bid for bankrupt Nortel Networks’ highly sought after wireless patent portfolio, posted preliminary 2010 revenue of $49.2 million and adjusted earnings of $4.7 million.

Wi-LAN, which closed a C$75 million bought deal last week, also doubled its annual dividend to 10 Canadian cents per share.

Shares of the company, which have more than doubled in the last year, were down about 2 percent at C$6.42 on Thursday on the Toronto Stock Exchange. (Reporting by Isheeta Sanghi and Abhiram Nandakumar in Bangalore; Editing by Maju Samuel, Unnikrishnan Nair)

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