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Atmel shares slip despite strong 4Q earnings

Atmel Corp. (Nasdaq: ATML) shares fell 3 15/16, or 11 percent, to 31 Friday. The chipmaker did beat Street estimates by a penny a share in its fourth quarter but it filed to sell another 15 million shares worth more than $524 million.

In the quarter, Atmel earned $33 million, or 16 cents a share, on sales of $388.7 million.

First Call consensus expected it to earn 13 cents a share in the quarter.

In the year-ago quarter, Atmel earned $9.9 million, or 5 cents a share, on sales of $288.7 million.

For the year, Atmel earned $82.4 million, or 40 cents a share, on sales of $1.33 billion compared to a loss of $50 million, or 25 cents a share, on sales of $1.11 billion in fiscal 1998.

"This quarter finishes a very successful year for Atmel," said CEO George Perlegos in a prepared release. "We are pleased by the increasing number of customers who are using Atmel's wide range of products, particularly in the wireless telecommunication end market."

Atmel shares hit a 52-week high of 35 1/16 earlier this quarter after falling to a low of 6 13/16 in February.