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Audience revenue beats estimates, helped by S4 demand

Samsung Electronics Co's latest Galaxy S4 phone is seen during its launch at the Radio City Music Hall in New York March 14, 2013. REUTERS/A
Samsung Electronics Co's latest Galaxy S4 phone is seen during its launch at the Radio City Music Hall in New York March 14, 2013. REUTERS/A

By Neha Alawadhi and Aurindom Mukherjee

(Reuters) - Audio-chipmaker Audience Inc forecast current-quarter results largely above analysts' estimates, helped by strong demand from key customers such as Samsung Electronics Co Ltd <005930.KS>, which uses its chips in its new Galaxy S4 smartphone.

Samsung is the biggest customer for Audience, which makes chips that improve voice quality in mobile devices by filtering out background noise.

The company said it expects to earn between 15 cents and 19 cents per share, on an adjusted basis on revenue of $43 million to $46 million in the second quarter.

"They guided for improving margins, so in the second quarter ... the bottom line is well above consensus," said Chardan Capital Markets analyst Jay Srivatsa.

Analysts on average were expecting earnings of 13 cents per share on revenue of $43.5 million, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

The forecast is lower than the $47.2 million in first-quarter revenue reported by Audience, which it said was due to orders being pulled forward for the launch of the S4.

The success of Samsung phones using Google's Android system has offset dwindling Apple Inc. revenue for Audience.

Audience shares plunged last September after the company warned that its technology was unlikely to be used in the latest iPhone.

Samsung accounted for 62 percent of Audience revenue in the first quarter.

Net income rose to $4.6 million, or 20 cents per share, in the first quarter from $4.2 million, or 16 cents per share, a year earlier.

Revenue rose to $47.2 million from $31.1 million.

Analysts on average had expected revenue of $44.6 million.

On an adjusted basis, Audience earned 27 cents per share, way above analysts' average estimate of 18 cents per share.

Audience shares were trading at $14.80 in extended trading, after closing at $15.63 on the Nasdaq on Thursday.

(Editing by Sriraj Kalluvila and Rodney Joyce)