Fairchild Semiconductor

was finally able to break its fall.

The high-performance component maker has seen revenues cascade as corporate technology spending dried up in 2001. But with relatively little business in the communications sector and almost one-third of its revenues coming from the computing industry in the third quarter, investors had some hope for a decent fourth quarter of 2001.

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Fairchild bettered Street estimates with $324.6 million in revenues, compared with expectations of a $320 million revenue finish, as reported by Multex.com. Wall Street will be most happy, however, with a narrowly positive pro forma profit of less than a penny a share, which surpassed consensus estimates of a 4-cent-a-share loss. The company lost 16 cents a share before factoring out two charges based on investment losses and severance packages.

Fairchild CEO Kirk Pond expressed hope that the third quarter of 2001 was the bottom of the company's business in this brutal chip cycle. Pond highlighted order growth in the communications, displays and computing segments.