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National Semi Beats Estimates

Revenue is also guided higher for the second quarter under way.

National Semiconductor


topped first-quarter financial targets due to stronger-than-expected demand for its analog semiconductors. It also guided revenue higher for the current quarter.

Shares of the Santa Clara, Calif.-based company were halted at $25.18 before the announcement; afterward, they ran up to $26.06, up nearly 6% over Thursday's session. National cited good demand for its high-margin analog chips used in mobile phones and flat-panel displays.

The company also boosted its stock-repurchase authorization by $400 million.

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National reported net income of $85.6 million, or 24 cents a share, on sales of $493.8 million. During the same quarter last year, National earned $117.7 million, or 31 cents a share, on sales of $548 million.

Despite a shrinking of profit and sales, analysts had expected only earnings of 21 cents a share and sales of $465 million, on average, according to Thomson First Call.

Sequentially, National grew its sales 5.7% and margins expanded 1.5 percentage points to 56.2%. At the quarter's start, the company predicted sales would be sequentially flat to down 2% and that margins would be flat.

Orders grew 18%, up from 12% growth in the fourth quarter. Excluding recently divested businesses, orders rose 13%.

National said second-quarter sales should increase to $518.5 million, representing 5% sequential growth, and margins should be flat to slightly higher. Analysts had expected earnings of 24 cents a share and sales of $490 million.