Tech Industry

Semtech eases past first quarter estimates

Chipmaker Semtech nudged past analysts' estimates in its first quarter Monday, raking in $12.1 million, or 32 cents a share, on sales of $57.4 million.

First Call Corp. consensus predicted Semtech (Nasdaq: SMTC) would earn 30 cents a share in the quarter.

Ahead of the earnings report, the stock closed off 6 1/4, or 12 percent, to 46 1/16.

The $57.4 million in sales marks a 74 percent jump from the year-ago period when it earned $4.8 million, or 14 cents a share, on sales of $33 million.

In the quarter, gross profit margins rose to 54.3 percent, up 50 basis points from the fourth quarter.

Company officials said it expects gross margin to continue to expand due to increased sales of high-margin new products.

"High-performance products for the automated test equipment market also contributed to our growth in the first quarter," said CEO Jack Poe in a prepared release. "Based on current conditions, we foresee these trends continuing for the balance of the year, with a forecasted acceleration in demand for our power management, advanced communications and system management product lines during the second half of the year."

First Call consensus expects Semtech to earn $1.38 a share in the fiscal year.

The stock surged to a 52-week high of 79 3/4 in February after falling to a low of 18 7/8 last May.

Six of the seven analysts tracking the stock maintain either a "buy" or "strong buy" recommendation.>