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National Semi posts big earnings

National Semiconductor reports quarterly earnings of $70.1 million, a surprising surge led by a 40 percent rise in communications chip sales.

National Semiconductor (NSM) reported quarterly earnings of $70.1 million, a surprising surge led by a 40 percent increase in analog and communications chip sales.

The earnings report, which covered the company's first fiscal 1998 quarter, shattered analysts' expectations at 45 cents per share. A poll of 17 analysts by First Call put earnings around 36 cents a share. Revenues for the quarter came to $600.8 million, up 39 percent over revenues from the company's core businesses a year ago.

The report caps an ambitious quarter for National. During the quarter, the company acquired semiconductor manufacturer Cyrix and said it would focus the combined companies on the emerging sub-$500 computer and computing device market.

In the same quarter a year before, National reported net income of $2.8 million in its core businesses and an overall loss of $207.6 million. The loss, however, included a charges related to the sale of the Fairchild product line and the acquisition of PicoPower. Last quarter, the company posted a loss of $14.5 million, or 10 cents a share.

The quarterly numbers do not include financial results from Cyrix. That acquisition would be complete by November, Cyrix said.