Audience share dive 67 percent after the fear Apple might scratch contract

Wednesday, September 12th, 2012 4:30:18 by

Shares of audio enhancement chip makers, Audience, fell a whopping 67 percent late Thursday, a near-crash experience. The slide started after the company announced that its biggest purchaser Apple will not be buying the merchandise anymore.

Audience develop and manufacture voice enhancement chips for electronic gadgets that boast voice calls. Their products discern the background noise from caller and reduce them to enhance the voice. Apple has been using these chips in its iPhones since 2008 but now has slashed the vendor for its own competitive technology.

Audience CEO Peter Santos said in a statement to Reuters that Apple will probably not use their product in the upcoming iPhone, dubbed iPhone 5. The handset is expected to be released at an Apple event slated for September 12.

However, the CEO was optimistic on the future growth of the company. Mobile phones are not the only products that use Audience chips. The company also vends its goods to automakers who have voice calling system integrated into their vehicles and other electronic gadgets like computers and televisions.

“While we are disappointed by this development, we are confident in the diversification of our business and see sustainable growth in 2012 and beyond,” Santos said in the statement . “As such, we are raising guidance for the third quarter of 2012. Looking ahead, we believe our expansion into adjacent markets such as Smart TVs, automotive and notebooks will continue to bring growth in 2013 and beyond.”

Analysts however, are of the opinion that if Apple has made up its mind not to go for Audience chips, it certainly will not in the future. Moreover, other smartphone manufacturers will follow the suit in not doing business with Audience.

“Apple is probably not coming back as a customer,” Pacific Crest Securities analyst James Faucette said in a research note Friday. “If Apple has decided against using Audience, we believe that many of Apple’s competitors are likely to decide that they do not need Audience capabilities either.”

Audience expects revenues of $35 Million to $38 Million in the ongoing quarter, with an EPS of 14 to 18 cents.

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