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narrowly missed Wall Street's fiscal fourth-quarter earnings target due to a higher tax rate, but sales rose more than expected.

Shares of the programmable chipmaker fell in response, dropping 1.5% to $29 in late-trading action after ending the regular session up 3.8% to $29.44.

Xilinx also set a second-quarter sales target above expectations and raised its quarterly dividend to 7 cents a share from 5 cents and it approved a $350 million stock repurchase plan.

The company reported net income of $67.2 million, or 19 cents a share, on sales of $391 million. During the same quarter last year, the company earned $130.9 million, or 36 cents a share, on sales of $403.4 million.

Analysts had expected earnings of 20 cents a share on sales of $380 million, on average, according to Thomson First Call.

The miss came from a higher tax rate of 27.5%, compared with an expected rate of 22% and a rate of 14.6% in the previous quarter. In contrast, the company's operating income grew 20% sequentially to $83.1 million even as sales rose 10%.

Gross margin was 61.1% vs. 64.7% in the same quarter last year and 62% in the previous quarter.

During the company's midquarter update in early March, Xilinx predicted sales between $372.8 million and $383.8 million and gross margins of 62%.

The company also targeted a decline in its inventory to under 150 days and actual inventory at Xilinx and its distributors dropped to 139 days. Inventory at just Xilinx fell to 111 days.

"Inventories are more balanced throughout the semiconductor supply chain," said CEO Wim Roelandts in a statement.

For the first quarter, Xilinx predicted sales growth of 4% sequentially to $406.6 million, gross margins of 62%, and a tax rate of 23%. Analysts had predicted sales of $393 million and earnings of 21 cents a share.