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Tech CEOs: Here's Where the Growth Lies

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- "Caution" is the word in this technology earnings season, with heavyweights such as Intel (INTC), Texas Instruments (TXN - Get Report), IBM (IBM) and Seagate (STX - Get Report) lamenting spending softness and currency losses. Silicon Valley CEOs and CFOs, however, say there's no need to panic.

Texas Instruments CFO Kevin March said investors shouldn't be overly concerned about uncertain and sometimes unstable global economies, which informed its third-quarter guidance.

"It's not like we're heading for a global decline or anything," he said in an interview. "The important thing is that we're still growing, and we're likely to grow."

Texas Instruments, which is seen as a key barometer for the broader tech sector, nonetheless said customers are cautious about placing new orders.

Hard-drive specialist Seagate echoed this sentiment in its fiscal fourth-quarter results, released on Monday. "As we were exiting the quarter, there were a lot of macro headwinds that made it difficult to predict revenue," said Seagate CFO Pat O'Malley during an interview. "Our OEMs [original equipment manufacturers] are in this mode of 'let's go slow and cautiously.' "

O'Malley pointed, in particular, to a slowdown in China, the looming U.S. fiscal cliff and recessions in Europe as factors hurting spending.

"I don't think that anybody's predicting a 2008," he said, referring to the beginning of the biggest recession in eight decades. "It's not that the roof's coming in, but people are being prudent."

Seagate, despite wrestling with a supplier snag, still posted record revenue and unit shipments in the June quarter. "We're still putting up really solid numbers," said O'Malley.

Semiconductor specialist LSI (LSI), which counts Seagate as a customer, posted strong second-quarter results last week, thanks partly to demand for its Flash-related products.

Nonetheless, LSI CEO Abhi Talwalkar reflected Seagate's comments. "There's definitely a cautious orientation out there," he said. "We're still growing in all the areas where we expected growth, but less than we expected three months ago -- wireless infrastructure capital equipment spending is still a bit slow."
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