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Chipmaker PMC-Sierra reports sales slowing

The communications chipmaker meets analysts' estimates in its fourth quarter but warns of slowing sales.

Communications chipmaker PMC-Sierra met analysts' estimates in its fourth quarter Thursday but warned of slowing sales.

The company reported a profit of $62.5 million, or 34 cents a share, on sales of $231.7 million. Analysts polled by First Call expected the company to earn 34 cents a share on sales of $228.6 million.

PMC-Sierra shares closed regular trading down $7.25 to $95.88 ahead of the earnings report.

The $231.7 million in sales marks a 152 percent jump from the year-ago quarter, when it pocketed $19.3 million, or 11 cents a share, on sales of $87.6 million.

For the fiscal year, PMC-Sierra earned $179.4 million, or 99 cents a share, excluding charges, on sales of $694.7 million. That is up 135 percent from fiscal 1999, when it made $56.6 million, or 35 cents a share, on sales of $295.8 million.

Despite the strong results, company executives said bookings declined in the fourth quarter of 2000, resulting in a book-to-bill ratio below 1.0.

Last quarter, PMC-Sierra easily topped analysts' estimates when it returned a profit of $56 million, or 31 cents a share, on sales of $198.1 million.

Its shares raced up to a 52-week high of $255.50 in March before falling to a low of $57.75 earlier this month. All but two of the 23 analysts following the stock maintain either a "buy" or "strong buy" recommendation.