TI, Broadcom add to warnings chorus

Chipmakers Texas Instruments and Broadcom are the latest companies to dramatically cut current quarter estimates amid the global economic slowdown.

In another bad sign for the consumer electronics market, chipmaker Texas Instruments warned that its current quarter sales and earnings will come in far below earlier estimates.

The company said it now expects revenue of $2.3 billion to $2.5 billion, as compared with prior expectations of $2.83 billion to $3.07 billion. Per-share earnings are now seen between 10 cents and 16 cents, as compared with an earlier range of 30 cents to 36 cents.

TI did not provide further details in its press release, but said it would hold a conference call to discuss its finances. The company is one of the leading makers of the chips used in cell phones.

Its announcement follows similar warnings from a host of other companies including fellow chipmakers Intel and Advanced Micro Devices.

Update: Broadcom also warned late on Monday. At its analyst day, it said revenue and margins would be significantly less than previously projected. The company now expects fourth quarter revenue of $1.05 billion to $1.1 billion, including that from the digital TV unit it recently acquired from AMD. The company had previously said to expect $1.17 billion to $1.24 billion, excluding that acquisition.

Gross margins will drop more than expected from the prior quarter, Broadcom said. The company did say it is cutting some of its operating expense plans.

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