* Q3 EPS 22 cents vs Street view 18 cents
* Q3 revenue $361.9 mln vs Street view $348.58 mln
* Sees Q4 rev $375 mln-390 mln vs Street view $360.89 mln
* Shares up slightly in extended trading
(Adds comments from CEO and analysts, details on factory
utilization, byline; updates shares)
By Ian Sherr
SAN FRANCISCO, March 11 National Semiconductor
Corp (NSM.N) posted results and a revenue outlook that beat
estimates, as sales to industrial markets and improved
corporate spending pushed margins to a record high.
National Semiconductor said Wednesday it saw increased
demand for its specialized analog chips across the board. But
some analysts said concerns remained about a possible build-up
of inventory as companies order too much in a recovering
That would hurt sales down the road, they said.
"The concerns I have are supply-chain related, and I think
everybody has those," said Canaccord Adams analyst Robert
Burleson. "Are we over-shipping? Is there a buildup of
inventory out there?"
This week, Texas Instruments Inc TXN.N raised the low end
of its quarterly earnings and revenue forecasts, saying it was
struggling to fill orders in time as demand for chips was
rising faster than it could make them -- leaving an opening for
competitors like National Semiconductor.
But analysts warned that efforts by TI and other chip
makers to ramp up shipments might result in a build-up of too
much inventory at its clients. [ID:nN08195713]
National Semi executives told analysts on a conference call
they were comfortable with build-ups in distribution channels,
as the company targets 9-10 weeks of inventory.
It forecast revenue for the current quarter of $375 million
to $390 million. That surpassed Wall Street forecasts for
"We're benefiting from improving economies around the
world," Chief Executive Donald Macleod told Reuters.
Though Macleod said National Semiconductor's factory
utilization is still below 50 percent, the company's internal
inventory was $2 million lower and it is actively hiring 200
workers for its manufacturing plants.
Semiconductor companies are expected to have fared well in
the quarter, with analysts searching for signs that the
industry is benefiting from improving markets both in the
United States and around the world.
National Semiconductor is especially sensitive to an
economic recovery as the chip maker's analog chips are used in
everything from cars to cell phones such as Apple Inc's
(AAPL.O) iPhone and Palm Inc's PALM.O Pre.
The company said net income rose to $53.2 million, or 22
cents a share, in its fiscal third quarter ended Feb. 28, up
from $21.1 million, or 9 cents a share, in the year-ago
That came in ahead of analysts' average estimate of 18
cents a share, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
Revenue rose to $361.9 million from $292.40 million the
previous year, above Wall Street's target of $348.58 million.
National Semiconductor forecast revenue for the current
quarter of $375 million to $390 million. That surpassed Wall
Street forecasts for $360.89 million.
Shares of Santa Clara-based National Semiconductor rose 1.8
percent in extended trading to $14.60 from their $14.34 close
on the New York Stock Exchange.
(Reporting by Ian Sherr; Editing by Tim Dobbyn and Richard