Semiconductor Stocks Pounded After Altera Warns on Revenue

The semiconductor index, the SOX, continues its struggle.
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Now that semiconductor maker

Altera

(ALTR) - Get Report

has told the world it won't meet fourth-quarter revenue forecasts, a group of analysts put out the word that the company won't meet their estimates. Right.

ABN Amro

,

Goldman Sachs

,

Lehman Brothers

and

Credit Suisse First Boston

cut their earnings estimates on the specialty chipmaker, which lowered its fourth-quarter revenue

forecast last night, citing sluggish November sales.

ABN Amro cut its 2000 earnings view to 97 cents from $1.02 a share, its 2001 EPS view to $1.20 from $1.55 and its 12-month price target to $40 from $60. Goldman lowered Altera's fourth-quarter EPS view to 27 cents from 32 cents and its 2001 view to $1.25 from $1.55. Lehman lowered Altera's 2000 estimate to 97 cents from $1.02 and its 2001 view to $1.20 from $1.40. Credit Suisse also reduced the company's fourth-quarter earnings estimate to 26 cents from 33 cents a share.

Robertson Stephens

and

Deutsche Banc Alex. Brown

went further. Robertson Stephens cut the stock to a long-term attractive from a buy, while Deutsche Banc Alex. Brown cut the stock to a buy from strong buy and lowered its fourth-quarter earnings estimate to 27 cents from 32 cents and its 2001 view to $1.30 from $1.60.

Shares of Altera were recently down 11.8%, or $3.06, to $22.94 in

Nasdaq

trading.

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In a group move on semiconductor stocks, Credit Suisse also hacked its ratings on

Lattice Semiconductor

(LSCC) - Get Report

,

Xilinx

(XLNX) - Get Report

and

Fairchild Semiconductor

(FCS)

to buy from strong buy.

Shares of Xilinx recently tumbled 7.1%, or $3.06, to $40 in Nasdaq trading. Lattice had fallen $1.69, or 9.7%, to $15.75, and Fairchild was recently lower by 11.4%, or $1.75, to $13.63 in composite trading.

In the report, CSFB cited the slowdown in the wireless and PC markets over the last four months, the uncertainty in wireline forecasts and the hoarding of components resulting in inventory overhang, and said it believes the semiconductor device companies "are once again about to run into a wall."

Ratings on

Interstil

(ISIL)

,

Microchip Technology

(MCHP) - Get Report

and

Silicon Storage Technology

(SSTI) - Get Report

were also cut to buy from strong buy.

Interstil shares were down 17.8%, or $4.75, to $22.06, Microchip was lower by 2.7%, or 63 cents, to $22.41, and Silicon Storage dropped 12.4%, or $1.69, to $11.94 in Nasdaq trading.

Among other big chip names,

Intel

(INTC) - Get Report

was recently down 10%, or $4.31, to $38.63 while

Advanced Micro Devices

(AMD) - Get Report

lost $2, or 11.7%, to $15.06.