* Q4 adj EPS $0.19 vs $0.14 est
* Q4 revenue rose 2 pct
* Sees Q1 rev $515 mln-$525 mln
(Recasts; adds analyst comments, details)
By Manasi Phadke
BANGALORE, Feb 3 Chipmaker ON Semiconductor
Corp ONNN.O posted a better-than-expected quarterly profit,
helped by a drop in operating expenses, and forecast
first-quarter revenue above Wall Street expectations due to
sequentially higher backlog.
Shares of the Phoenix-based company dipped about 1 percent
to $7.79 in trading after the bell. They closed at $7.86
Wednesday on Nasdaq.
"Ever since Intel set the ball rolling, expectations have
been very high for most semiconductor companies," Brigantine
Advisors analyst Ramesh Misra said.
"It doesn't surprise investors anymore that semiconductor
companies are posting beat-and-raise results."
Last month, Intel Corp (INTC.O) posted solid fourth-quarter
results and gave a bullish margin outlook on higher prices and
firm demand for server chips, lifting hopes of a rebound in the
chip sector. [ID:nN13151343]
ON Semiconductor, which makes audio and power-management
chips used in mobile phones, cars and portable electronics,
forecast first-quarter revenue of $515 million to $525 million.
Analysts were looking for $479.3 million, according to
Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
"It's reasonable to expect that ON will get back to its
record revenue levels in a couple of quarters," Misra said.
The company's backlog at the beginning of the first quarter
was sequentially higher and forms 90 percent of the revenue
outlook, the company said.
"From a semiconductor supplier's perspective, we expect to
see a pretty good first half driven by consumers, and a strong
second half driven by enterprise," Chief Executive Keith
Jackson said on a conference call with analysts.
The company also said it delayed a previously announced
factory closure in Phoenix to sometime around the third quarter
due to strong demand. The company expects a benefit of about $5
million to $8 million per quarter from the closure.
ON, which recently agreed to acquire California Micro
Devices Corp CAMD.O, returned to profitability in the third
quarter of 2009 after incurring losses for three consecutive
quarters as it was hit by slumping demand for electronics due
to the economic slowdown.
For the fourth quarter, ON earned $68 million, or 15 cents
a share, compared with a loss of $524.7 million, or $1.28 per
share, a year ago.
Revenue rose 2 percent to $497.1 million, while analysts
were expecting $491 million.
Excluding items, the company, whose competitors include
Texas Instruments Inc TXN.N, Intersil Corp ISIL.O and
Fairchild Semiconductor International Inc FCS.N, earned 19
cents a share, ahead of analysts' expectations of 14 cents.
The company benefitted from an 84 percent drop in operating
expenses in the fourth quarter.
(Reporting by Manasi Phadke in Bangalore; Editing by Jarshad
Kakkrakandy, Anne Pallivathuckal)