Communications chipmaker

TriQuint

(TQNT)

said today that earnings for the first quarter of 2003 will fall short of analysts' expectations. Earnings per share are expected to show a loss of 8 cents, primarily due to costs from the acquisition of

Agere's

optoelectronics business. The acquisition will take place in January.

Wall Street had been expecting a pro forma loss of 1 cent per share in the first quarter, according to Thomson Financial/First Call.

Though it will hit the bottom line, the Agere purchase will lift TriQuint's sales, according to the company. Including the acquisition, revenue for the first quarter should be up 5% sequentially and 20% above the previous year's levels, TriQuint says. Analysts had been modeling a 4% sequential sales increase in the first quarter.

The Agere business alone will reach cash break-even by the third quarter of next year, and contribute to the company's overall earnings by the fourth quarter 2003.

Without the Agere unit, revenue would be down 10% sequentially in the first quarter from the fourth quarter of 2002. The company said its first quarter has traditionally been a slower quarter, reflecting seasonality trends in the wireless handset sector. About 45% of TriQuint's sales come from the handset sector including

Motorola

(MOT)

and

Nokia

(NOK) - Get Report

.

Meanwhile, TriQuint says it's sticking by an earlier forecast for the December quarter for revenues in the range of $71 million to $75 million and earnings at break-even.

Analysts forecasts are for break-even earnings and revenues of $73 million. TriQuint ended the day down 13 cents, or 1.8%, to $7.04. Disappointed investors sent shares sinking another 29 cents, or 4.1% after the markets closed.