Updated from 5:08 p.m. EDT
SAN FRANCISCO --
rejected an unsolicited bid to acquire the company Wednesday, contending that the $2.3 billion offer undervalued Atmel, even as the chipmaker separately reported that it swung to a loss in the third quarter.
Atmel CEO Steven Laub said that a string of recent restructuring moves, including selling a chip factory in Germany, are "just beginning to unlock the value in inherent" in0 Atmel.
Echoing recent comments by several other tech companies that have rebuffed unsolicited acquisition offers, Laub called the offer that
made for Atmel "highly opportunistic."
Shares of Atmel were down 3 cents at $3.50 in extended trading Wednesday.
Atmel went public with its rejection on the same day that it announced its third-quarter financial results.
The San Jose, Calif., chipmaker posted a loss of $4.7 million, or 1 penny a share, vs. net income of $16.5 million, or 3 cents a share, at this time last year.
Atmel said an accounting change related to in the way it recognizes revenue from European distributors reduced its net income by 2 cents a share. Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters were looking for EPS of one penny, though it was not immediately clear whether the estimate including the impact of the accounting change.
Atmel also incurred a $26.6 million restructuring charge in the third quarter as a result of recent restructuring moves that include selling a chip factory in Germany and cutting its headcount in France.
Laub said in a statement that the company is already benefiting from those actions, even as further restructuring efforts are underway.
Atmel's gross margin in the third quarter was 39.5% -- its highest level in seven years -- and up significantly from the 36.5% level in the second quarter.
Sales in the three months ended Sept. 30 totaled $400 million, in line with Wall Street expectations, and down 4% from this time last year. Atmel said its top line was hurt by a one-time reduction of $19.9 million due to the accounting change.
Laub said he expects that Atmel will increase its market share thanks to new microcontroller chips which he said are receiving strong acceptance from the company's customers. Atmel's microcontroller chips are used in everything from consumer products to cars and industrial gear.
In a letter rejecting the Microchip/On Semi offer, Laub said that Atmel's microcontroller business grew 21% year over year in the third quarter, substantially exceeding what he said was Microchip's comparable 5.5% growth.
Looking ahead, Atmel said it expected sales to be anywhere from down 3% sequentially to up 3%, which translates to a range of $388 million to $412 million. The average analyst expectation called for sales of $437 million.
On Semi and Microchip went public with their offer on Oct. 2, offering $5 a share for Atmel -- a 52% premium to its closing price a day earlier. The two firms said the intent was for each to grab a separate piece of Atmel's product line and to subsequently sell off the rest of the business.
Atmel's decision to reject the offer is the latest of several such moves in recent weeks.
Earlier this month,
turned down a $5.85 billion unsolicited offer by South Korea's Samsung. And
dropped a bid to acquired
this month following long-running resistance from International Rectifier's board.