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Analog Devices

(ADI) - Get Analog Devices Inc. Report

posted fourth-quarter earnings that beat analysts' estimates by 4 cents, and said it was repurchasing up to 15 million of its shares for stock option and other employee benefit plans.

The Norwood, Mass., company also forecast "solid" revenue growth over the next few years.

Shares of Analog, which currently has about 356 million shares outstanding, closed higher by 15.2%, or $7.31, to $55.50 in

New York Stock Exchange

trading. In after-hours activity on the

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ECN, Analog Devices was recently quoted at $61.69.

Excluding gains and expenses, the Norwood, Mass., company, which makes precision integrated circuits used in analog and digital signal processing applications, earned $206.5 million, or 54 cents a share, compared with $73.2 million, or 20 cents a share, in the same period last year. Eighteen analysts polled by

First Call/Thomson Financial

expected the company to earn 50 cents a share.

Revenue rose 87% to $805.6 million from $431 million last year.

Citing its high backlog and strong new orders during the fourth quarter, Analog also said it expects to achieve 7% to 10% sequential revenue growth in the first quarter of fiscal 2001, as well as first-quarter EPS of 58 cents to 60 cents. Wall Street expects the company to earn 54 cents. The company also expects fiscal 2001 revenue to exceed fiscal 2000 revenue by more than 50%, which would result in fiscal 2001 revenue of more than $3.8 billion.