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Freescale Puts Up Solid Quarter

It earns 45 cents a share.
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posted better-than-expected earnings in its fourth quarter, reaping decent sales gains in its transportation and networking semiconductor divisions. The company also reversed a previously recorded writedown related to




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old chip division earned $192 million, or 45 cents a share, in the quarter, up from $5 million, or 1 cent a share, a year ago, when the company had restructuring items. Sales rose 4% from a year ago to $1.48 billion. Analysts had been forecasting earnings of 38 cents a share on sales of $1.48 billion in the latest quarter.

The company said it expects to post revenue in its current quarter of $1.435 billion to $1.535 billion. Analysts were expecting $1.48 billion.

Freescale's biggest segment, transportation and standard products, saw revenue rise 5% from a year ago to $649 million, while operating earnings more than doubled to $117 million. Income benefited from the reversal an $8 million writedown booked in the third quarter related to Delphi. In the networking and computing unit, sales rose 8% to $338 million while earnings roughly doubled to $73 million.

Freescale's wireless and mobile solutions unit saw sales and earnings hold relatively flat at $476 million and $38 million, respectively.

"We delivered on our commitments in 2005," the company said. "We are pleased with this performance, but clearly are not yet satisfied. We are focusing on a number of initiatives to enhance operating results and grow revenues in 2006 and beyond."

The stock closed at $26.85 Thursday. In after-hours trading, it rose 30 cents, or 1.3%, to $27.15.