Spansion ( SPSN) turned in mixed third-quarter results but offered a sales outlook in line with Wall Street's target. The Sunnyvale, Calif., flash-memory concern reported a third-quarter loss of $71.6 million, or 53 cents a share, widened from a loss of $22.1 million, or 17 cents a share, a year earlier. The results were slightly better than analysts' average forecast for a loss of 54 cents a share, according to Thomson Financial. The top line, however, missed Wall Street's expectation. Spansion's sales slipped to $611.1 million from $674.7 million the prior year, compared with Wall Street's projection of $633 million. The chipmaker's gross margin improved slightly, rising to 18% from 17% in the second quarter. "ASPs have stabilized, reversing the steep decline we saw in the first half of the year and our book to bill is extremely strong at 1.3, driven by the wireless division," said Bertrand Cambou, president and CEO of Spansion. The company said it had continued share gains of its high-density "MirrorBit" chips, helping to boost its backlog. Last week, Spansion
agreed to acquire Israel's Saifun Semiconductors ( SFUN), its longtime licensing partner, to consolidate all of its MirrorBit intellectual property, design and manufacturing operations into one company. For the fourth quarter, Spansion forecast sales of $640 million to $700 million, bracketing analysts' average forecast of $663 million. The company expects its gross margin to be flat. Shares of Spansion recently were up 22 cents, or 2.8%, to $8.10 in after-hours trading.