Dallas Semi slides on 4Q warning

Dallas Semiconductor (NYSE: DS) shares fell $6, or 18 percent, to $28 Tuesday after the chipmaker warned that it will miss analysts' estimates in its fourth quarter.

After market close Monday, the maker of specialty chips said it now sees earnings ranging between 34 and 37 cents per share. First Call's survey of five analysts predicted a profit of 44 cents per share for the quarter ending Dec. 31.

Fourth revenue will fall 5 to 7 percent from the third quarter's $139.5 million, Dallas said. The company's distribution and contract manufacturing clients overbought in previous quarters, said Chao C. Mai, president and chief operating officer.

Dallas, which gets much of its business from the communications industry, is the latest in a line of telecom chipmakers to warn of disappointing results. Several observers have previously noted that communications companies stocked up on equipment earlier in the year.

The past 30 days haven't been kind to Dallas. Last month, company founder and CEO Vin C. Prothro died of a heart attack.>