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TI earnings boost stock

Texas Instruments beats Wall Street's expectations while reporting a drop in first-quarter profits and revenues.

Texas Instruments (TXN) today beat Wall Street's expectations while reporting a drop in first-quarter profits and revenues that were partly attributed to a restructuring charge and lower DRAM prices.

TI, which reported before the markets opened this morning, saw its stock climb as high as 86-7/8 before closing at 84-1/2, up 1-1/2 from yesterday.

The chipmaker reported net profits of $129 million, or 66 cents a share, for the quarter ending March 31, compared with $163 million or 84 cents a share a year ago. However, it excluded a restructuring charge of $56 million that would have put profits at $138 million, or 70 cents a share.

Wall Street had expected the company to post profits of 58 cents share, according to First Call. Revenues, meanwhile, fell 15.4 percent to nearly $2.3 billion for the quarter, down from $2.7 billion a year ago.

Semiconductor sales were affected by lower DRAM prices. But semiconductor operating profits were up 50 percent over the previous quarter and orders for TI's digital signal processing solutions were strong, accounting for 40 percent of TI's total revenues.

Some analysts view TI as a company in transition. After posting two consecutive quarters of losses, the chip vendor has been able to turn a profit in this last quarter. It is currently repositioning itself as the world's leading provider of digital signal processors.

The company recently underwent a management change, with Tom Engibous being named chief executive. It also has been shedding some of its unprofitable businesses. TI sold its notebook unit to Acer as part of restructuring.