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What: Shares of CEVA (NASDAQ: CEVA ) have lost over 14% today after the mobile chip designer met expectations on the top and bottom line, but offered weak guidance for the in-progress first quarter.
So what: The company reported revenue of $13 million and adjusted EPS of $0.19 for the fourth quarter. Both of these results were in line with what analysts had sought. However, CEVA offered guidance for the first quarter of $12 million to $13 million in revenue and between $0.13 and $0.15 in adjusted EPS. Both were well below what analysts sought -- the consensus had been $14 million in revenue and $0.22 in adjusted EPS.
Now what: CEO Gideon Wertheizer claimed that 2012 was a challenging year, but it appears that 2013 may be more challenging for CEVA. The company is having a difficult time coping with mobile chip price declines, and it's also suffering from the sales trough that the console gaming industry has tripped into in advance of next-gen releases planned for later this year. The company expects royalty growth in the second half of 2013, and its shares may rebound by that point, but I would adopt a cautious attitude for the time being and take this weakness as an opportunity for further research if you're considering buying in.
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