Communications chipmaker Xilinx ( XLNX) edged past Wall Street sales forecasts for the most recent quarter and promised better-than-expected revenue for the quarter now under way. But investors apparently weren't impressed; the stock was recently down 54 cents, or 1.4%, to $37.25 after hours. In regular Thursday trading shares closed up 57 cents, or 1.5%, to $37.79. In the fourth quarter of fiscal year 2004, Xilinx saw sales grow 32% from last year's levels to $403.4 million, above the consensus estimate for $399.6 million compiled by Thomson First Call. Sequential sales growth clocked in at 10%, at the high end of the company's guidance for 9% to 10% growth. Xilinx said net income amounted to $130.9 million or 36 cents a share, up from $69.4 million a year ago. The company saw a bottom-line benefit of $34.4 millon from a reduction in taxes recognized in the March quarter, while also recording a $7 million pre-tax charge in connection with the acquisition of Triscend Corp. in March. In its press release Xilinx did not break out a pro forma earnings number that would exclude those charges; analysts were assuming it could post earnings of 25 cents a share. Gross margin increased 290 basis points from the prior quarter to 64.7%, up from 60.0% in the same quarter a year ago. For the June quarter, Xilinx said it expects to see revenue increase 5% to 8% sequentially, implying a revenue range of $424 million to $436 million -- above the Wall Street consensus estimate for $417.5 million. Gross margin for the quarter should range from 63% to 64%. Xilinx didn't issue EPS guidance, but analysts were expecting 26 cents heading into Thursday's report. On Wednesday, close competitor Altera ( ALTR)
cheered investors by forecasting sequential sales growth of 7% to 9% for the June quarter, well above Wall Street expectations. Xilinx draws the biggest portion of business from the communications segment, where it sells chips to telecom equipment providers such as Cisco ( CSCO). It also sells to storage and server outfits, such as EMC ( EMC) and IBM ( IBM), and supplies silicon to the consumer and industrial markets.