UPDATE 1-Auto, industrial chip sales help Fairchild top revenue estimates
April 18 (Reuters) - Chipmaker Fairchild Semiconductor International Inc's first-quarter revenue beat analysts' estimates as it sold more high-voltage chips to industrial and automotive customers.
The company, however, reported a surprise loss, as adjusted gross margin slipped 2 points to 27.8 percent. Fairchild's margins were under pressure during the quarter as it cut down its inventory and faced higher product testing costs.
Shares of the company were up 5 percent in thin premarket trading.
Fairchild, which also makes analog chips for PCs and mobile phones and counts Samsung Electronics Co Ltd as its biggest customer, forecast second-quarter revenue largely above analysts' estimates.
The company said it expects adjusted gross margin in the second quarter to rise as utilization of factory resources improved and it sold higher-margin products.
It expects second-quarter revenue of $355-$375 million, compared with analysts' estimates of $359.1 million, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
Net loss narrowed to $0.5 million in the first quarter, compared with $1.6 million a year earlier.
Excluding items, the company posted a loss of 2 cents per share.
Revenue fell 2.5 percent to $343.2 million.
Analysts were expecting a profit of 4 cents per share on revenue of $340.8 million for the first quarter.
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