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Texas Instruments on Monday narrowed the range of its third-quarter forecasts and said its sales of chips for cell phones would be hit by an inventory build-up at Japan’s NTT DoCoMo wireless operator.

TI said revenues from continuing operations would be $3.71bn to $3.87bn, compared to the prior range of $3.63bn to $3.95bn. Semiconductor revenues would be $3.53bn to $3.67bn, narrowed from $3.45bn to $3.75bn.

Expected earnings per share of 44 to 46 cents compared to its earlier forecast of 42 to 48 cents.

Ron Slaymaker, TI vice president, told analysts that revenue growth for TI, the biggest maker of chips for mobile phones, was probably going to be a little below the seasonal norm for its wireless chips.

He blamed an inventory build-up of cellphones caused by NTT DoCoMo in the first half as it prepared for a surge in demand in the second half. Japanese consumers will be able to keep their existing numbers if they switch services from next month, enticing many to change operators and buy new phones.

Mr Slaymaker said the inventory build-up would mean lower sales of TI’s Omap chips.

“Were it not for that, we would expect [the quarter] to be completely consistent with low double-digit sequential growth,” he added.

Forecasts for TI’s Educational and Productivity Solutions – its calculator business – remained the same at revenues of $180m to $200m.

The mid-points of the new figures remained virtually in line with analyst-consensus forecasts of earnings of 45 cents on sales of 3.804bn.

TI shares were down 1.3 per cent in after-hours trading at $31.38 on the news.

The figures did not include TI’s Sensors and Control business, which was sold earlier this year.

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