Chipmaker Conexant Systems ( CNXT) posted a large second-quarter loss due to merger-related expenses, but doubled Wall Street's expectations for an operating profit, the Red Bank, N.J., company reported after Monday's closing bell.

Third-quarter earnings guidance, however, was on the light side, and shares were recently off 34 cents, or 5.9%, to $5.43 after hours, after losing 18 cents during the regular session.

Conexant, which makes chips for broadband communications, merged with GlobespanVirata on Feb. 27. Including Globespan's results from Feb. 28 forward, Conexant reported second-quarter revenues of $243.8 million and a net loss of $141 million, or 43 cents a share, according to generally accepted accounting principles.

Excluding a $160.8 million charge, the company earned a profit of $20.1 million, or 6 cents per diluted share. Analysts polled by Thomson First Call had expected a 3-cent profit on sales of $213 million.

Looking forward to the third quarter, the company expects to earn a pro forma profit of 3 cents to 5 cents per diluted share on sales ranging from $308 million to $323 million. Analysts were projecting a 5-cent profit on sales of $310.78 million.

Conexant also has spun off a number of units in the last year, while retaining a major interest. Most recently SiRF Technology Holdings ( SIRF) went public in late April, and saw its shares get an immediate 28% pop. Conexant is the largest shareholder, owning 13.5% of the San Jose, Calif., company.

Conexant also spun off Mindspeed Technology ( MSPD) in 2001 and Sky Solutions ( SWKS) in 2002.

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