P.M. BRIEFING : National Semiconductor Slumps

From Times Wire Services

National Semiconductor Corp., hit by a slowdown in sales and low prices for certain computer chips, today reported a loss of $10.2 million in the third quarter of its fiscal year on $404.3 million in sales.

Though steep, the loss was an improvement on the $44.6 million the company lost in the same period a year ago on $379.3 million in sales.

Charles E. Sporck, National Semiconductor’s president and chief executive officer, said bookings of orders were stronger late in the third quarter and he expects the company to post profits in the fourth quarter.