National Semi Posts Loss on Lower Sales
National Semiconductor Corp. reported a fiscal fourth-quarter loss in line with Wall Street expectations, citing a continuing decline in sales of chips for personal computer and networking products. National reported a loss of $69.3 million, or 42 cents per share, excluding one-time charges, for the quarter ended May 31. The loss compared with a profit of $57.4 million, or 36 cents a share, also excluding charges, in the year-earlier fourth quarter. Revenue fell to $510 million from $651.7 million. The Santa Clara-based semiconductor maker warned last month that it would report a bigger-than-expected fourth-quarter loss, in part due to slowing of shipments to personal computer makers, as they corrected their built-up inventories. National said its fourth quarter bookings, or orders, declined compared with both the year-ago quarter and with its third quarter, but the rate of decline slowed in May. “Current weekly order rates suggest that the market decline may be bottoming out,” National Chief Executive Brian Halla said in a statement. “But visibility is limited and the outlook for the current quarter is essentially flat with the fourth quarter.” Including charges, the company’s net loss for the fourth quarter was $212.4 million, or $1.29 a share. During the quarter, National said it would lay off 1,400 employees. The company said it took a one-time, pretax restructuring charge of $63.8 million, or 29 cents a share, for those layoffs. National shares rose 25 cents to close at $15.38 on the New York Stock Exchange.