SAN FRANCISCO - Despite a quarterly dip in revenues, International Rectifier Corp. demonstrated high margins and increased activity in new markets for power management components. The company's business was up 58 percent in areas that conserve energy, IR chairman, president and CEO Alex Lidow told EE Times after its earnings report came out.
IR reported earnings of $41.7 million on revenues of $281.9 million for the quarter ended March 31st. This was down slightly from $298.6 million in revenues and $44.8 million in earnings reported for the previous quarter (ended December 31st), but a gain over the $275.4 million in revenues and $29.8 million in earnings reported for the same quarter last year.
The quarterly revenue dip was attributed to "inventory burn," while the yearly revenue gain was attributed to increased traction for IR's products in lighting ballasts, and white goods (washing machines, air conditioners, fans and pumps). "These products save a ton of energy," Lidow said. White goods manufacturers using IR products include Whirlpool, Sanyo, Philips and China's Midea.
About one-third of International Rectifier's business is in energy-saving products, Lidow acknowledged. About one-half is in the IT sector, and the remainder is in "high-rel" products for industrial and automotive applications.
In addition to increased activity in the IT sector - 19 new Pentium-based notebook and desktop designs, and 35 new server designs - IR's chief was excited about the build out of the WiMAX broadband infrastructure. "WiFi was just the beginning," Lidow said. "WiMAX will be a driving force " larger than PCs " encouraging everyone to change out their hardware." New-generation TVs, set top box controllers, personal video recorders, and DVDs will all require new power management components, Lidow believes.
With help from WiMAX design wins, Lidow believes his company can demonstrate 50 percent gross margins by June of 2006. Revenues for the June 2005 quarter are projected to be flat with the March quarter (within ±4 percent, according to guidance). #