Chip demand lifts Texas Instruments profits

Texas Instruments benefited from booming demand for its chips in smartphones and tablets as it reported fourth-quarter sales and profits slightly ahead of Wall Street expectations.

Dallas-based TI said on Monday that its analog and embedded processing divisions also contributed to strong revenue growth of 34 per cent in 2010.

The chipmaker reported fourth-quarter revenues of $3.53bn and earnings per share of 78 cents, boosted by a disposal and a tax benefit worth 14 cents.

Excluding these, earnings of 64 cents a share were just ahead of analysts’ expectations of 63 cents and sales of $3.51bn.

Rich Templeton, chief executive, said a strong fourth quarter reinforced TI’s view that “the inventory-driven downturn that started in the second half of 2010 is now mostly complete”.

“We used this short and shallow downturn to replenish our inventory, return product lead times to normal and ramp up three new factories. As markets start to grow again, we are well positioned with the products and manufacturing capacity that our customers need.”

TI issued a first-quarter revenue forecast range with a mid-point of $3.41bn, ahead of analyst expectations of $3.34bn, with its earnings prediction matching Wall Street’s 58 cents a share.

TI shares were down 2.3 per cent in extended trading in New York on the news, at $33.86.

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