Chipmaker Forecasts Disappoint, Fueling Fears of Sluggish EconomyBy Reuters | Posted 2010-09-10 Email Print
Chipmakers National Semiconductor and Texas Instruments disappointed analysts with lower than expected quarterly outlooks, citing weak demand for personal computers and other electronic devices.
SAN FRANCISCO/NEW YORK, Sept 9 (Reuters) - Chip makers National Semiconductor (NYSE:NSM) and Texas Instruments Inc (NYSE:TXN) on Thursday issued quarterly financial targets that stoked investors' worries about a sluggish economy.
Both companies cited weak demand for personal computers and other devices that use microchips and National Semiconductor said consumers were not spending as much as expected.
"We'd all like to believe that consumer spending is onward and upward but I don't think it is," National Semiconductor Chief Executive Donald Macleod told Reuters.
National Semiconductor said sales in the current quarter could fall as much as 5 percent from the three months ended in August as the companies it supplies reduce inventories. While TI stuck with the midpoint of its revenue and earnings outlook range this was not enough to cheer up investors.
Shares of National Semiconductor, which makes chips for medical equipment, industrial power supplies and smartphones, fell 5.7 percent after its report.
Santa Clara, California-based National Semiconductor's guidance follows industry giant Intel Corp's (INTC.O) warning in August that weaker-than-expected consumer demand for personal computers would limit its sales growth.
"You can see what's happening here between Intel, National Semiconductor and TI's report: demand has peaked and is starting to head down," said Charter Equity Research analyst Ed Snyder.
As U.S. unemployment remains high, investors have been impatient with sluggish economic growth and some fear a possible new downturn.