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Fairchild Semiconductor


warned today that third-quarter revenue could post a sequential decline, and said an anticipated seasonal upturn in the fourth quarter would be "very modest."

The company, which markets a wide array of chips, had expected third-quarter sales to be flat to slightly up over the previous quarter. Wall Street estimates gathered by Thomson Financial/First Call were for a sequential revenue increase of 1.2%.

But after the bell, Fairchild said in a release that it had been hurt by slow orders from the computer and consumer segments, compounded by pricing pressures. It forecast that revenue will be flat to slightly down from the second quarter.

Gross margins are expected to decline sequentially by 1%.

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Shares of Fairchild slid 13.1% in a day of heavy tech selling on Tuesday, losing $1.58 to close at $10.49. Shortly after warning of lower-than-expected revenue, the stock lost another dime.

Since the beginning of the year, it has surrendered 63% of its value.

In a prepared statement, CEO Kirk Pond said, "Orders from the computing and consumer segments have been the softest this quarter, while orders from cellular handset suppliers have been relatively firm. During this slower bookings period, we have seen a more aggressive pricing environment for our mature discrete, standard logic and standard linear products."

He said visibility into the fourth quarter remains limited. "While we still anticipate a strengthening in orders in September, the recent more conservative outlooks from industry-leading computer and retail electronics suppliers lead us now to believe the fourth-quarter seasonal upturn will be very modest compared with past years and lower pricing may partially offset increased unit demand."

In the statement, Pond said the company had racked up a track record of 14 consecutive quarters of positive operating cash flow.

Fairchild expects to report its third-quarter financial results on Oct. 17.