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Chip equipment maker

National Semiconductor


reported first-quarter earnings that were in line with lowered expectations as orders for PC-related products dropped significantly. The Santa Clara, Calif.-based company had net income of $1.3 million, or a penny a share, reversing a loss $54.6 million, or 31 cents a share, in the year-ago period. Revenue for the quarter rose 24% to $420.6 million from $339.3 million last year.

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"The year-over-year increase in revenues reflects continuing progress in our wireless and display programs. Our strategy to increase the analog content in wireless handsets helped offset weaker sales in the personal computer markets," the company said in a press release. "But the overall economy is still sluggish. As a result, our near-term outlook remains cautious."

The company also issued forward-looking statements for its fiscal second quarter, saying it expects to revenue to be flat to down 5% on a sequential basis. Gross margins are expected to be flat to slightly lower as well. "Early indications of consumer demand for the holiday season are not strong at this point," the company said, "and although we have pockets of opportunity -- driven mostly by our specific product programs -- they may not be enough to offset weak end-user demand for this quarter."

The shares rose 1.5% to close at $15.20.