General Semiconductor

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posted fourth-quarter earnings in line with analysts' lowered estimates but warned that first-quarter results would be below expectations.

The maker of power management devices reported earnings of 26 cents a share, meeting the

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four-analyst estimate and surpassing year-ago earnings of 23 cents per share.

In December, General Semiconductor warned that its earnings would come in between 26 cents and 28 cents per share. At the time, the consensus estimate was 28 cents a share.

In a statement Thursday, Chairman and CEO Ronald Ostertag said, "We are disappointed that the recent slowdown in technology spending and subsequent increase in inventory levels at several of our customers has affected our short-term performance. However, we are very pleased with our progress against our power management strategy and are confident that our evolving new product portfolio will fuel the continued long term growth of General Semiconductor."

The company expects that revenue in the first quarter of 2001 will decline about 6% to 9% below the fourth-quarter 2000 level. Earnings per share are expected to be between 18 cents and 20 cents before restructuring charges. The three-analyst estimate is 25 cents a share.