Texas Instruments CFO: Cars Driving Semi Dollars

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Texas Instruments' ( TXN) outlook may have underwhelmed investors this week, but CFO Kevin March predicts a semiconductor sales boost from cars and home appliances.

The company's decision to shift from legacy wireless to lucrative analog and embedded processing technologies is already paying off, he told TheStreet, during a telephone interview after the company's third-quarter results.

"They are growing quite nicely -- both of those segments are gaining market share," he said. Revenue from analog and embedded processing products grew 10% sequentially, he added, and 7% compared to the prior year's quarter.

"We're beginning to see them being used a lot more in automobiles and industrial applications," said March. "That's pretty exciting, because the number of automobiles sold globally is quite high, so there's a lot of opportunities for us to sell into and in the industrial space we're just seeing more and more things turn up that use semiconductors."

March pointed to the example of LED lights and motion sensors in the home that contain semiconductors, and even automatic faucets in public restrooms. "That's a huge part of the economy that is just now beginning to adopt semiconductors into everyday use -- we have over 100,000 orderable parts that customers can order from us, and today, we estimate that we sell to over 100,000 customers."

In the automotive sector, the CFO expects that expansion of semiconductor-rich advanced driver assistance systems and "infotainment" technology from high-end to low-end cars will bode well for Texas Instruments.

Analog and embedded processing products now account for 80% of the company's total revenue, up from about 72% in the same period last year. Texas Instruments' legacy wireless products declined to less than 2% of revenue during the third quarter.

Texas Instruments reported third-quarter revenue of $3.24 billion, down from $3.39 billion in the prior year's quarter, but above Wall Street's estimate of $3.23 billion.

Excluding items, the company earned 56 cents a share, down from 67 cents a share in the same period last year, but above the consensus estimate of 53 cents a share.

For the fourth quarter, the Plano, Texas-based firm expects sales between $2.86 billion and $3.1 billion and earnings between 42 cents and 50 cents a share. Analysts surveyed by Thomson Reuters were looking for fourth-quarter sales of $3.12 billion and earnings of 51 cents a share. The company's shares have slipped more than 3% since it reported its results after market close on Monday.

March, however, said the company's outlook simply reflects typical seasonality. "It looks like we're going into kind of a normal seasonal fourth quarter," he said, adding that the semiconductor market has experienced a fourth-quarter decline in recent years.

As for the broader economy, the Texas Instruments CFO feels very positive about auto and housing sales, as well as the creation of U.S. energy sector jobs.

"When I look at those three things, it says to me that the economy is gaining some legs beneath it and we will probably begin to see a 'steady as she goes' kind of growth rate as we look out over the next year, two years, three years," he said. "The U.S. economy, given its sheer size on a global basis, is still more than a quarter of the global economy -- that will slowly lift the rest of the world's economy as well."

Texas Instruments shares, which have gained 27.19% this year, are down 2.43% to $39.30 in Wednesday trading.

--Written by James Rogers in New York.

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