UTStarcom Defies Gravity

While its competitors rail at it for flooding the market with cheap gear at low margins, UTStarcom Inc. (Nasdaq: UTSI) continues to prove that there's plenty of money to be made in affordable equipment for broadband connections and wireless phone networks.

UTStarcom reported third-quarter earnings of $59.1 million, or 46 cents a share, on revenues of $584.4 million for its third quarter, ended September 30. Analysts, again, were surprised as they expected UTStarcom to earn 45 cents a share on revenues of $570.96 million. A year ago, the company reported earnings of $30.8 million, or 27 cents a share, on revenues of $265.5 million.

The company ended the quarter with about $441.4 million in cash and investments.

Why the upside surprise?

For one thing, UTStarcom's PAS (Personal Access System) wireless/radio phone business is going nuts. The company shipped five million PAS handsets in the third quarter and reported 16.7 million PAS subscribers on its networks. By the end of this year -- that's less than three months away, if you're scoring at home -- the company says its PAS subscribers in China will hit about 30 million.

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— Phil Harvey, Senior Editor, Light Reading

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