Updated from April 21. Chipmaker Altera ( ALTR) surpassed its own sales guidance for the quarter ending in March, even after nudging up its forecast just last month, and sharply boosted its profit from last year's levels. It also forecast sales well above expectations in the quarter now under way. Altera shares were recently up $1.07, or 5.2%, to $21.54. First-quarter sales rose 25% from last year's levels to $243 million, above analyst expectations for $233.5 million. Revenue rose 12% from the prior quarter, well above Altera's own forecast, which the company already had raised in a midquarter update. On
March 11, Altera said it expected sequential revenue growth to be at the high end of January guidance for 6% to 8% growth in the first quarter. Net income climbed to $59 million, up from $30 million for the same period last year. Earnings per share stood at 15 cents, beating expectations by 2 cents. Altera also said it repurchased 2.3 million shares of its stock in the quarter for just under $52 million. CEO John Daane said the company had seen "outstanding growth" in the company's new products, which grew 32% from the prior quarter. On a postclose conference call Wednesday, Altera said it expects sales in the range of $260 million to $265 million for the quarter ending in June, reflecting growth of 7% to 9% from the prior quarter. Analysts were gearing for revenue of $246 million with earnings of 14 cents.