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Rambus plunges after posting weak 2Q net income

SUNNYVALE, Calif. (AP) -- Rambus Inc. plunged Friday trading, a day after the memory-chip designer reported disappointing second-quarter financial results.

THE SPARK: Rambus said that its net loss in the three months ended June 30 widened to $32.2 million, or 29 cents per share, from $10.6 million, or 10 cents per share in the same period a year earlier.

The company's revenue dropped 15 percent, to $56.2 million from $66.2 million a year earlier.

THE BIG PICTURE: Rambus experienced a big setback in November, when a California jury denied it billions of dollars in damages in a 7-year-old antitrust case. Rambus alleged that chip-makers Micron Technology Inc. and Hynix Semiconductor Inc. conspired to fix prices of memory chips in order to hike the prices of products for which Rambus licenses the rights. Its stock, which had traded near $19, plunged below $8 and has weakened since then.

Rambus last month named a new CEO, Ronald Black, formerly of the French phone designer Sagem Mobile.

In Thursday's earnings release, Rambus, based in Sunnyvale, Calif., said its net income declined because of weaker revenue from contracts and royalties paid by companies that license its technology. A patent license agreement expired, Rambus said.

THE ANALYSIS: The results were weaker than Wall Street had expected. Analysts in a FactSet survey had projected net income of 26 cents per share.

SHARE ACTION: Rambus fell 78 cents, or 15 percent, to $4.43. It has bounced since May near its 52-week low of $4.