ChipPAC

(CHPC)

said Tuesday that it squeaked past Wall Street's dramatically lowered earnings estimates for the fourth quarter.

The semiconductor test and packaging services company said income totaled $2.7 million, or 4 cents a share, up from a loss of 7 cents in the year-ago period, excluding extraordinary items. Five analysts polled by

First Call/Thomson Financial

were calling for the company to earn 3 cents in the quarter.

Revenue increased to $132 million from $108 million in the year-ago period, thanks to customer expansion, the acquisition of a Malaysian facility and higher revenue from power products.

ChipPAC

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warned in late November that it would badly miss earnings estimates for the quarter, citing short-term weakness in the wireless and computing markets. The consensus estimate called for earnings of 18 cents a share for the quarter, but ChipPAC said it only anticipated earning 3 cents a share on revenue of $128 million.

Shares of ChipPac dropped 19 cents, or 3.9%, to $4.63 in regular session

Nasdaq

trading, and fell sharply to $4 in recent after-hours

Island

activity.

The company said it is taking a cautious approach to 2001 estimates. "Clearly, there is limited visibility industry-wide for the first quarter and full-year. We are, nonetheless, very confident in our business over the long-term and believe we are well positioned for an upswing in demand in the second half of the year," the company said in a statement. "With that said, we are taking a cautious outlook on the first quarter due to continued weak demand industry-wide and the fact that the first quarter is traditionally a seasonally slower period."

The company expects to report a "moderate loss" in the first quarter, and forecast that revenue would decline 10% to 15% from the year-ago period. ChipPac projected improved revenue and profitability in the second quarter as inventory levels in the semiconductor end-markets are reduced. The company reported revenue of $97.5 million in the year-ago first quarter. Analysts expect the company to earn 3 cents a share for the period. Two analysts polled by First Call expect first-quarter revenue of $123.5 million.