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Ceva fourth-quarter profit, revenue top expectations

TEL AVIV (Reuters) - Israeli mobile chip designer Ceva Inc reported higher quarterly net profit and revenue that beat analysts' expectations as the company broadened its portfolio of products and secured new customers.

Ceva said on Thursday it earned 20 cents a share excluding one-off items in the fourth quarter, compared with 19 cents a year earlier while revenue rose 8 percent to $14 million.

Analysts had forecast Ceva would earn 15 cents on revenue of $12 million, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Chief Executive Gideon Wertheizer said the results represent the strongest licensing quarter in Ceva's history as the company penetrated new markets.

"Overall, during 2013 we made substantial progress in expanding our licensee reach beyond the cellular baseband market with our broadened technology portfolio," he said, noting Ceva signed 30 licensing agreements during the year, including 17 first-time customers.

These new licensees will help to grow Ceva's royalty base. While royalty revenue fell 18 percent in the fourth quarter, this was in line with Ceva's outlook, Wertheizer said.

(Reporting by Tova Cohen)

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