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Altera Boosts Both Lines

The programmable chipmaker's next-quarter view is light.
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widened profit in the first quarter and boosted revenue by 4% year over year, but the company's outlook came in below consensus.

The San Jose, Calif., maker of programmable logic chips on Monday said it earned $75.1 million, or 21 cents a share, vs. $58.7 million, or 16 cents a share, a year ago. That beat Thomson Financial analysts' forecast by a penny.

Sales for the three months ended March 30 totaled $304.9 million, missing analysts' expectation of $310.1 million.

CEO John Daane said that "although slowing conditions in the communications market and continuing customer inventory corrections muted our sales in the first three months of 2007, we anticipate that industry conditions will improve in the second quarter."

Daane added that "a growing number of designs are under way targeting our previously announced Stratix III FPGAs," and that Altera is on track to ship the programmable chips in the third quarter.

The company forecast sequential revenue growth of 1% to 4% for the second-quarter, or in the range of $308 million to $317 million, short of analysts' forecast of sales of $323.3 million.

During the quarter, the company repurchased 7.2 million shares of its common stock at a cost of $145 million, ending the quarter with $1.5 billion in cash and investments, Altera said.

As announced earlier, the company said it will pay a quarterly cash dividend of 4 cents a share on June 1, 2007 to shareholders of record on May 10, 2007.

Shares of Altera rose 53 cents, or 2.5%, to $21.85 in extended trading.