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Altera's Profit Rises

The company guides lower for first-quarter revenue.
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Fourth-quarter profit rose at Altera (ALTR) - Get Altair Engineering Inc. Class A Report as sales jumped 18%.

The company said after the closing bell Wednesday that earnings rose to $69.7 million, or 19 cents a share, from $58 million, or 15 cents a share, a year earlier. Analysts were expecting, on average, the company to earn 19 cents a share.

Sales rose to $281.9 million, short of the company's prior guidance of $286 million to $297 million but within Thomson First Call's analyst consensus estimate of $292.2 million.

Gross margin slipped to 66.7% from 69.8% a year earlier.

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For the first quarter, Altera expects sales to increase 4% to 7% sequentially, or $292.3 million to $301.6 million, below the latest First Call estimate of $306.2 million. Gross margin will be in the range of 65.5% to 67.5%, the company said.

Following the release, shares of Altera rose 2.8% in after-hours trading to $19.45 on Instinet.