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LSI Logic&#039s 2Q earnings chipper

LSI Logic Corp. (NYSE: LSI) said Wednesday second quarter earnings were $31 million or 21 cents a diluted share, beating First Calls' expectation of 18 cents a share, but falling below last year's second quarter earnings of $33 million or 23 cents a diluted share.

Shares closed at 50 1/4 Tuesday, close to their 52-week high of 53 5/8.

The supplier of custom high-performance semiconductors also said revenue for the second quarter was $501 million, a 49 percent increase over the $336 million posted in the second quarter of 1998. Second quarter revenues were also higher than the $464 million reported in the first quarter of this year. Net income rose dramatically from $11 million, or 8 cents a share, in the first quarter, when LSI Logic also beat the Street.

Gross margin improved to 37.2 percent in the second quarter from the 34.9 percent in the first quarter of the year. Operating expenses declined as a percentage of revenues, and cash and short-term investments grew from $291 million in the first quarter of 1999 to $345 million in the second quarter.

"LSI Logic is now on a $2 billion annual run rate and we are growing faster than the global semiconductor industry,'' said Wilfred J. Corrigan, LSI Logic chairman and chief executive officer in a company release. Second quarter results have shown a comeback in the semiconductor sector this quarter.

A $106 million acquisition of SEEQ Technology, Inc. in the second quarter was also made to enhance LSI Logic's product portfolio. "We are continually exploring strategic acquisitions that build upon our existing intellectual property library and increase LSI Logic's leadership position in our designated high-growth vertical markets,'' said John Daane, LSI Logic executive vice president of Communications, Computer and ASIC Products in Wednesday's release.

Ten of 18 analysts covering the Milpitas, California-based company rate it a "strong buy" according to Zach's Investment Research.

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