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National Semi Beats by a Nickel

Sales and profit slip in the first quarter, but the chipmaker still tops estimates.


National Semiconductor


saw its bottom line erode nearly 29% in its fiscal first quarter, although the chipmaker still beat Wall Street expectations by 5 cents.

And the company said strong orders going into the current quarter appeared to be in good shape.

Sales at National Semi totaled $471.5 million in the three months ended Aug. 26, ahead of the average analyst expectation of $467.4 million. At this time last year, the company had sales of $541.4 million.

The Santa Clara, Calif., chipmaker said demand for chips used in wireless and portable electronic products were particularly strong during the quarter.

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"Our growth this quarter was driven by highly featured wireless mobile devices, where energy efficiency is critical and happens to be the strong suite of our portfolio," CEO Brian Halla said in a statement.

National Semi reported net income of $85.6 million, or 30 cents a share, down from $120.1 million, or 35 cents a share at this time last year.

The results were well ahead of the average analyst expectation, which called for National Semi to earn 25 cents a share.

Shares of the company lost 8 cents to $26.50 after hours.

Looking ahead, National Semi projected that sales will increase 4% to 7% sequentially, suggesting a range of $490.5 million to $504.5 million.

Analysts were expecting $495.9 million in revenue during the current quarter, with EPS of 31 cents.

National said it expected its gross margin in the current quarter to increase from the first-quarter's 63% level, but said operating expenses will also rise.