Starboard asks chipmaker TriQuint to sell unit

Activist investor Starboard asks TriQuint to restructure or sell business unit; stock pops

Associated Press

Shares of TriQuint Semiconductor Inc. rose Tuesday after activist investor Starboard Value LP asked the chipmaker to consider restructuring or selling its mobile power amplifier business.

TriQuint, based in Hillsboro, Ore., makes products for communications, defense and aerospace companies. It reported last week that it moved to a profit for its fiscal third quarter but issued a weak fourth-quarter forecast, prompting a 14 percent drop in its stock price over a two-day period.

Starboard argued in a letter to TriQuint's board and CEO Tuesday that the mobile power amplifier business, which manufactures devices used in cell phones and tablets, has been the primary drag on the company's performance for some time. Starboard said the strength of TriQuint's other units are worth more than reflected in its stock price.

The firm holds about 8 percent of TriQuint's outstanding shares.

TriQuint said in a statement that it "welcomes constructive input from all shareholders including Starboard." It said that the company regularly reviews its strategy and has taken steps to increase shareholder value, including selling underused equipment, buying back its stock and pulling out of unattractive businesses.

The company's stock increased 42 cents, or 5.7 percent, to close at $7.76. It's still down 13 percent over the past week, but has risen 61 percent in 2013.

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