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Texas Instruments Follows Microsoft with Positive Earnings

The company posted better-than-expected results for its fourth quarter.

On the heels of positive earnings from


(MSFT) - Get Microsoft Corporation Report

last night,

Texas Instruments

(TXN) - Get Texas Instruments Incorporated Report

has followed up with a strong report that is contributing to gains in the high-tech sector.

Excluding one-time items, Texas Instruments announced fourth-quarter earnings of 59 cents a share, besting the

First Call

consensus estimate for an increase of 54 cents.

"The mighty TI!" said Scott Nirenberski, director of semiconductor research with

Credit Suisse First Boston

. "It's a really solid report, and the outlook was pretty solid, too."

Nirenberski said the $1.6 billion in earnings reported by Texas Instruments bested projections, and he was surprised at how powerful gross margins of 16% were compared to 12% a year ago. Credit Suisse First Boston, which does not have an underwriting relationship with Texas Instruments, has a buy rating on the company.

Nirenberski said the positive earnings report could also benefit

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TheStreet Recommends


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Conexant Systems

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and "anything to do with wireless digital signal processing."

Texas Instruments was up 3 1/2 points to 96 1/2 in early trading. STMicroelectronics was up 2 3/4 to 93 3/4, while Conexant was up 1 5/16 to 17 1/16.

More Earnings

Microsoft is building on gains made in after-hours trading Tuesday and was up 10 points to 166 in early trading. The company's second-quarter earnings of 73 cents a share from income of $1.98 billion bested expectations of 59 cents, despite some cautious words from the company on its outlook.



was up 7 9/16 to 96 after reporting earnings this morning. Though the company's reported loss of 25 cents a share was only slightly better than the First Call consensus estimate for a loss of 26 cents, the company said Internet traffic was "extremely strong" in December and viewings per day of more than 172 million customers were up 69% from September.

Also, shares of


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were little changed after the company reported a first-quarter loss of 15 cents a share, which matched analysts' estimates.

Earlier this month, shares of Spyglass fell around 30% after the company preannounced a loss for the quarter vs. expectations for a small gain.