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Profit Slips at Altera

Late traders focus on light top-line results.



first-quarter sales were a little lighter than expected, but the chipmaker forecast strong revenue growth in the current quarter.

The San Jose, Calif., company said Thursday that net income fell to $58.7 million, or 16 cents a share, from the $63.8 million, or 17-cent EPS, it earned in the year ago period.

Excluding stock-compensation expenses, Altera said its EPS was 20 cents a share, in line with analysts expectations.

Sales were $292.8 million in the quarter, up 11% year over year, but below analysts' estimates, which called for Altera to generate $298 million in revenue.

In March, the company said it was having difficulties meeting strong demand for certain products as a result of manufacturing constraints.

Shares of Altera recently fell 1.4%, or 31 cents, to $21.30 in extended trading.

Altera said sales in the current quarter will grow 7% to 10% sequentially, putting revenue between $313.4 million and $322 million. The average analyst expectation had second-quarter revenue at $312.2 million, according to Thomson First Call.

Altara CEO John Daane said sales growth in the first quarter was driven by new products, which increased 28% sequentially.

"Led by Stratix II FPGAs, all of our new programmable devices set new sales records," said Daane in a statement.

Sales to the communications and industrial markets were up 18% and 20%, respectively, from the year-ago period. Consumer-markets sales declined 17% year over year.