Atmel Swings to Profit

Shares rise 3%.
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Microchip maker

Atmel

(ATML)

said it swung to a first-quarter profit as sales rose and gross profit margins increased.

The San Jose, Calif.-based company earned $9.2 million, or 2 cents a share, in the quarter, compared with loss of $43 million, or 9 cents a share, a year ago. The profit includes $3.2 million related to stock based compensation expenses. Analysts polled by Thomson First Call were expecting a breakeven quarter.

First-quarter revenue rose 4% to $436.8 million as against analysts' expectation of $420.88 million.

For the second quarter the company expects to post 1% to 3% rise in revenue on sequential basis.

Operating expenses margin for the latest quarter was 94.7% compared with 108.1% for the first quarter of 2005. Gross profit margin was 32.3% compared with 20.73% for the previous year.

"We are very pleased to have delivered another quarter of strong financial results highlighted by revenue growth and positive earnings momentum," the company said. "For the first quarter, we saw record shipments of our proprietary AVR microcontroller as we introduced our new 32-bit and picoPower AVR architecture."

Shares rose 18 cents to $5.67.

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