Shares of



surged 13% a day after the company reported earnings, though Wall Street reactions to the results were mixed.

The stock tacked on $2.21, to $18.65 in recent trading.

"The results were good, and order growth of 17% was quite spectacularly strong, really," said David Wu, an analyst at Wedbush Morgan who has a buy on the stock. "Intersil is one of a few companies that will achieve record earnings, revenues and margins in calendar '03. I think there's been some catch-up in the stock price." Wu's firm hasn't done banking for Intersil.

Intersil's sales of WLAN chips fell 9% from the prior quarter, but Wu brushed aside concerns about commoditization in the wireless LAN business. "Everybody's worried sick about wireless LAN. Nobody's focused on the fact that the vast majority of earnings come out of the analog side," he said, estimating that analog will account for two-thirds of sales and 88% of earnings this calendar year. "No matter what one's concern for WLAN, it can't do that much damage if it's only 12% of earnings, unless it goes into the red," said Wu.

Others were less enthused: At Pacific Growth Equities, Jim Liang maintained an equal weight on the shares. "Our investment thesis remains unchanged -- we continue to believe that the company has a defensible analog franchise but will face increased challenges in the wireless LAN market, and that despite the attractive valuation, the shares of Intersil are likely to remain range-bound until consensus estimates come down enough to adequately reflect the wireless LAN challenges," he said in a note this morning.

In other chip-related news, equipment maker


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was off 30 cents, or 0.7%, to $40.62 after forecasting sales and earnings below consensus estimates.


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lost ground after releasing weak first-quarter results, which it had previously

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were nearly flat after the company posted sales and earnings that had weakened from last year's levels. It also announced job cuts. The stock was down a penny, or 0.2%, to $5.40.

On Wednesday, Intersil met first-quarter expectations on sales and earnings, while projecting second-quarter revenues above expectations. Earnings for the quarter now under way should be about in line with Wall Street projections.

The chipmaker posted first-quarter revenues of $164.4 million, $2 million above Street expectations, representing a 23% increase from the prior year.

Net income according to generally accepted accounting principles declined to 10 cents a share from 13 cents for the same period last year.

Pro forma EPS of 13 cents was in line with Street projections.

CEO Rich Beyer said the company was pleased with its overall performance in what tends to be a seasonally weak quarter for the industry. The company's power management and Elantec product groups saw sequential growth, while sales of wireless networking chips dropped 9% from the prior quarter due to seasonal softness and ASP declines in 802.11b chips.

Citing "increasing strength in orders" in the first quarter, as well as new product launches, Beyer forecast revenue growth of 5% to 7% in the second quarter to between $172 million to $176 million.

"We expect earnings to grow faster than revenues, due to continued improvement in gross margins and continued leveraging of our operating expenses," he said, predicting EPS of 15 cents to 16 cents in the quarter now under way.

Wall Street analysts had been modeling for second-quarter revenue of $171 million on earnings of 16 cents.