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Rambus last week reported financial results for its first quarter of 2004. The company’s sales continued to increase thanks to more royalties for DRAM memory as well as other technologies in addition to increasing contract revenue.

Revenue for the first quarter was $32.5 million, up 16% over the same quarter last year and up 1% from the previous quarter. First quarter earnings reflect a $2.1 million after-tax gain on the sale of an investment. Net income for the first quarter was $8.3 million (26% of revenue), compared to $5.1 million in the first quarter last year and $8.6 million in the previous quarter. Earnings per share for the quarter were $0.07, compared to $0.05 in the first quarter last year and $0.08 in the previous quarter.

First quarter results reflected $5.1 million in contract revenues, up 55% over the same period last year and up 10% from the previous quarter. This increase in contract revenues over the same period last year primarily reflects contracts signed in 2003 for our XDR memory interface and Redwood interface technologies. First quarter results include $27.5 million in royalties, up 11% over the same period last year and down 1% from the previous quarter.

“During the first quarter we made significant progress on several fronts,” said Geoff Tate, chief executive officer of Rambus.

“Among these was a favorable initial decision by the administrative law judge of the Federal Trade Commission. Product developments included demonstrations of XDR DRAM working samples operating at 3.20GHz, as well as first working samples of our PCI Express cell created on a 90nm process. This quarter also marked an important milestone as we surpassed 300 patents issued while we have over 300 patent applications pending. These cover important innovations in memory interfaces and, we believe, in serial and parallel interfaces,” the CEO said.

Total costs and expenses in the first quarter increased 12% from last quarter primarily as a result of a $1.9 million increase in litigation expense. Marketing, general and administrative expenses increased $0.6 million, or 9%, from last quarter due to increased costs associated with filing patents and payroll expenses. Total costs and expenses were $23.9 million compared with $23.6 million in the first quarter last year and $21.3 million last quarter.

Cash, cash equivalents and marketable securities increased $51 million to $239 million since December 31, 2003. This increase was comprised primarily of $28 million from the exercise of employee stock options and $19 million coming from operations. During the quarter, total stockholders' equity increased $57 million to $297 million.

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