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Former LSI exec lands top post at Altera

    Programmable logic device maker Altera named John Daane, a former executive at LSI Logic, as its new chief executive officer after the bell Monday.

    Daane, who most recently served as executive vice president of LSI's communications products group, replaces Rodney Smith who announced his intention to retire late last year.

    Altera (Nasdaq: ALTR) shares fell $3.88, or 12 percent, to $27.31 ahead of the announcement after Lehman Brothers cut its earnings estimates on the PLD maker.

    "I am very pleased to announce the selection of John Daane as our next President and Chief Executive Officer," Smith said in a prepared release. "John's in-depth knowledge of the semiconductor industry, and the ASIC market in particular, will be invaluable in leading Altera's growth as we focus on system-on-a programmable-chip solutions for the communications market.''

    Earlier Monday, Lehman analyst Dan Niles predicted that neither Altera nor Xilinx (Nasdaq: XLNX), off $10.31 to $46.50, would meet their sales growth targets of 12 percent year-over-year this quarter.

    "We believe both Altera and Xilinx have seen slowing demand in November with a book-to-bill ratio below 1.0 and that both will see growth closer to the mid-single digits (or lower) in the first quarter of calendar 2001," Niles wrote in a research report.

    Niles cut his earnings-per-share estimate for Altera to 31 cents a share from 32 cents a share in the fourth quarter.

    Analysts are expecting a profit of 32 cents a share in its third quarter.

    Last quarter, Altera met analysts' estimates when it posted a profit of $118 million, or 28 cents a share, on sales of $395.4 million.

    Altera shares peaked at $67.13 in August after falling to a low of $22.50 in December.