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Wi-LAN delivers fourth-quarter profit as revenues exceed its expectations

OTTAWA - Wi-LAN Inc. (TSX:WIN) had a US$2.4 million profit in the fourth quarter as the patent licensing firm's revenue surpassed its management's expectations.

The company, which reports in U.S dollars, said its earnings were equivalent to two cents per share, compared to a loss of $2.1 million, or two cents a share, a year earlier.

Wi-LAN licenses the rights to patents in its portfolio and earns money through royalty payments from companies that use the protected technology in their products and services.

Its fourth-quarter revenue grew to $29.1 million from $21.2 million, which is nearly $1 million higher than it Wi-LAN projected when it reported its previous quarterly results.

The company reached an agreements during the quarter with BlackBerry (TSX:BB), which agreed to obtain a licence in exchange for the dismissal of all pending patent litigation. HTC and Sierra Wireless also settled with Wi-LAN after signing patent-licensing agreements.

"These agreements contributed to our strong revenues and adjusted earnings in the fourth quarter," Wi-LAN president and CEO Jim Skippen said in a release.

Adjusted quarterly earnings amounted to $17.2 million, up from $7 million in the comparable period, while litigation expenses dropped to $4.7 million from $8.8 million a year earlier.

Over the past year, Wi-LAN's stock has tumbled in value after failed patent litigation with numerous technology giants. including Alcatel-Lucent USA Inc. and Ericsson Inc.

In October, Wi-LAN shares fell more than 20 per cent after a jury decided that Apple Inc. did not infringe on a patent used in its wireless networking technology. However, Wi-LAN was still able to strike licensing agreements for other patents with other companies.

Its shares rose a penny to $3.41 on Thursday at the Toronto Stock Exchange.

For the year, Wi-LAN reported a bigger net loss of $18.1 million compared to $14.5 million a year earlier. Revenues increased to $88.2 million from $88 million.

The Canadian Press

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