Simtek’s Q1 sales slip

Colorado Springs-based Simtek Corp. (Nasdaq: SMTK) expects to report sequentially lower sales during the year’s first fiscal quarter, for which full earnings results will be announced April 27.

The non-volatile memory chip company announced this week that it expects Q1 2006 product revenue to be about $8 million, 12% less than the record $9.1 million mark reached during last year’s fourth quarter.

Despite the decline, the company’s projected Q1 sales would be 70% more than last year’s first quarter. Simtek — which reported its first quarterly profit in nearly six years during last year’s fourth quarter — nearly tripled its annual revenue during 2006 to $30.6 million, compared with $10.4 million in 2005.

The past year has been eventful for Simtek, which was founded in 1987 and struggled for years to develop a niche market for its unique nvSRAM technology, which allows memory chips to retain stored data when their power is shut off, while also operating at extremely fast speeds.

Last October the company completed a 1-for-10 reverse stock split, paving the way for a Nasdaq stock listing this January 10.

In December Simtek acquired the nvSRAM business of Germany’s Zentrum Mikroelektronik Dresden (ZMD) (which originally licensed the technology from Simtek) for $10 million in cash and stock, and began shifting ZMD’s chip customers to its own nvSRAM chips. In January it raised $11 million in a private share placement, with most of the proceeds used to pay for the ZMD deal.

The company also filed for 10 patents in January, and announced plans to open a design and business-development center in San Diego.

Simtek employs about 45 people in Colorado Springs. Its chips are used in computer servers, GPS navigation systems, robotics, copiers, avionics, radar, “smart” weapons and other products.

Among its competitors is Colorado Springs-based Ramtron Corp. (Nasdaq: RMTR), which uses a different technology, ferroelectric random access memory (FRAM), to produce non-volatile chips.

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