Mixed outlook for chip industry

Visibility on the global semiconductor market in 2010 has been blurred by conflicting forecasts from leading manufacturers STMicroelectronics and Qualcomm.
 
STMicroelectronics CEO Carlo Bozotti said it expects the global chip market to grow by 10-12% in 2010, with recovery driven by Western economies, Reuters reported
 
The company on Tuesday reported it had narrowed Q4 net loss to $70 million (€49.9 million), from $366 million the year before. It beat expectations on revenue and gross margin, but missed profit forecasts.
 
But Qualcomm has lowered its sales forecast to between $10.4 billion to $11 billion, compared to its initial estimate of sales of up to $11.3 billion.
 
“A subdued economic recovery in developed regions, including Europe and Japan, combined with relative strength at the lower end of the market, is changing our estimated 3G device average selling price and chipset mix for this fiscal year,” CEO Paul Jacobs said.
 
The company meanwhile reported revenue of $2.67 billion – up 6% year-on-year, but down 1% sequentially. Net income grew 5% sequentially to $841 million.
 
Fellow chipmaker Texas Instruments this week predicted that demand will grow 3% this quarter, as it posted a quarterly profit of $655 million – at the top range of its estimates.

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