* CEO says "good trends" in bookings so far in 2013
* Wireless unit ST-Ericsson causes 6th quarterly loss
* Q1 in line: sales $2.01 bln, gross margin 30.1 pct
* Shares up over 6 percent
By Edwin Chan and Leila Abboud
SAN FRANCISCO/PARIS, April 23 European chipmaker
STMicroelectronics said signs of market recovery and
new products, such as motion sensor chips for video games
consoles, should drive a pick up in sales in the second half of
The bullish outlook lifted its shares over 6 percent in
Tuesday morning trading, despite the group posting a sixth
straight quarterly loss due to its mobile chip joint venture
with Sweden's Ericsson, which is being closed.
"We see a good trend in bookings this year so far," said
Chief Executive Carlo Bozotti on a conference call. "It is
pretty broad across regions including Europe, and also across
"The challenge will be to see if this trend is sustainable
or not given the ongoing macroeconomic issues globally. But we
expect to see strong sales in the second half largely because of
new product launches."
STMicro, the eighth-biggest semiconductor maker by sales and
a competitor of Intel and Texas Instruments,
predicted second-quarter revenue would rise 3 percent
sequentially, plus or minus 3.5 percentage points.
The maker of chips for cars, computers and mobile phones
also said it was starting to see the benefits of winding down
the ST-Ericsson venture, as its research and development costs
were $57 million lower in the quarter.
Bozotti said the sales of ST-Ericsson would go down to zero
by roughly the middle of next year and that lower costs would
leave the parent company structurally more profitable.
The parent companies of ST-Ericsson decided in March to end
venture after failing to find a buyer and are splitting some of
its businesses between them, while closing the rest.
A Paris-based trader said STMicro had done well to give
better visibility to investors on the rest of the year.
"The gross margin was strong and the group gave an
encouraging outlook ... but the group still needs to find new
growth engines" after the exit from mobile chips, he said.
STMicro is seeking to grow its sales in motion sensor chips
that go in video game consoles and smartphones like Apple's
iPhone, as well as chips to connect cars with mobile
phone networks and location systems.
Without giving details, Bozotti promised new product
launches would boost growth this year.
STMicro on Monday reported first-quarter revenue of $2.01
billion, down slightly from $2.02 billion a year ago, and
broadly in line with analysts' expectations.
Analysts had on average expected first-quarter revenue of
$2.02 billion and June-quarter revenue of $2.13 billion,
according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
The group had a first-quarter net loss of $171 million,
compared with a net loss of $176 million the same quarter a year
STMicro also said it would decide and distribute quarterly
dividends semi-annually, rather than just once a year, as was
previously the case. It plans to pay a 10 cent-a-share dividend
in this year's second and third quarters.