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Semiconductor manufacturer



cut its third-quarter earnings outlook by 50% on lower demand in several major markets, and the company said the pain will continue into the fourth quarter.

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The company now expects to earn 4 cents to 5 cents a share, down from the previous forecast of 9 cents to 11 cents and well below the consensus estimate of 10 cents provided by Thomson Financial/First Call.

Sales are expected to be $51 million to $52 million, down from earlier guidance of $56 million to $58 million. Analysts had been expecting $55.80 million for the quarter.

Microsemi said the shortfall will be caused by lower demand for products in the commercial aircraft, commercial space, computer and mobile handset, and military business. Sales will also be $1 million lower due to the sale of the company's Low-Frequency Transistor business in midquarter.

In a press release, the company said the weakness in demand is expected to continue into the fourth quarter in all markets.

Shares of Microsemi closed at $13.23 Friday before the new guidance.