Slump in semiconductor sales pull down TI forecasts

Texas Instruments, the leading maker of chips for cell phones, cut its profit and revenue forecast for the fourth quarter due to slower sales of semiconductors, and it warned that sales could weaken further early next year, an Associated Press report said.

'These kind of corrections typically last more than a single quarter,' Ron Slaymaker, the company's VP of investor relations, was quoted by the Associated Press report as saying. 'We don't believe this has bottomed yet.'

TI expects earnings from continuing operations of $0.37 to $0.40 per share in the October-December quarter, down from its prior forecast of $0.40 to $0.46 per share, the report said.

The company said revenue would be $3.35 billion to $3.50 billion, down from the previous prediction of $3.46 billion to $3.75 billion.

Analysts had expected fourth-quarter earnings of $0.42 per share on $3.60 billion in sales, according to a survey by Thomson Financial.

Virtually the entire revenue shortfall occurred in semiconductor revenue, which TI now expects to range between $3.28 billion and $3.42 billion, compared to an earlier forecast of $3.39 billion to $3.66 billion.

Texas Instruments said semiconductor orders are likely to weaken again in the typically slower first quarter.