OmniVision 3Q profit and 4Q outlook beat estimates

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SANTA CLARA, Calif. (AP) ? Image sensor maker OmniVision Technologies Inc. posted a sharp drop in its fiscal third-quarter profit on Thursday due to lower sales, lower prices, and greater operating expenses.

However, its revenue surpassed Wall Street estimates, and the company also forecast a better-than-expected fourth quarter. Its shares jumped $1.97, or 12 percent, to $18.05 in aftermarket trading.

Over the three months ended Jan. 31, OmniVision said its profit fell to $111,000 from $44.7 million. The company broke even on a per-share basis after reporting a profit of 75 cents per share a year ago.

OmniVision said it earned 13 cents per share if stock-based compensation and related costs are excluded. Revenue sank 30 percent, to $185.2 million from $265.7 million.

Analysts expected the company to report an adjusted profit of 13 cents per share on $176.6 million in revenue, according to FactSet.

OmniVision said its profit margins fell because of lower average sales prices and greater inventory costs. Its operating expenses grew to $44.4 million from $38.6 million.

The company said it expects to report an adjusted profit of 15 to 28 cents per share in the fourth quarter on revenue of $195 million to $215 million. That represents a decreased of 17 to 25 percent from the $258.3 million it reported in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2011.

Analysts were forecasting a fiscal fourth-quarter profit of 10 cents per share and revenue of $169.8 million on average.

OmniVision Technologies shares rose 2 cents to $16.08 during Thursday’s regular trading session. The stock is still well below its peak of $37.05 touched in late May.