Fairchild Semiconductors

(FCS)

Wednesday said it expects fourth-quarter sales to hit the higher end of its previous guidance, which called for a 5% to 10% sequential quarterly decline.

The company also said it expects gross margins will be at the lower end of the previously guided range of approximately 26% to 28%, reflecting moderate pricing pressure and "continued efforts to adjust factory loadings to reduce distribution inventories."

"Bookings improved during the first half of this quarter," the company said. "Order rates increased from the third-quarter levels, but are still below the unsustainably high booking rates we experienced in the first half of this year." Fairchild cited a "significant improvement" in demand from Asia and especially China.

Analysts expect the company to earn 14 cents a share on revenue of $378.7 million in the quarter. Revenue hit $409.5 million in the third quarter.

Fairchild reports earnings on Jan. 25.

Shares rose 13 cents, or 0.8%, to $15.43.