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NEW YORK, March 7 (Reuters) - Texas Instruments raised its target for first-quarter earnings and revenue to the upper end of its previous forecast range, implying improving demand for its chips.
The maker of chips for a wide range of products ranging from consumer electronics to industrial equipment said on Thursday it now expects earnings per share of 28 cents to 32 cents, compared with its previous target range of 24 cents to 32 cents and implying a new midpoint of 30 cents compared with 28 cents.
It forecast revenue in a range of $2.80 billion to $2.91 billion, which compared with its January forecast for a range of $2.69 billion to $2.91 billion.
The $2.855 billion midpoint of the updated revenue range was above Wall Street expectations for $2.8 billion, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
Bernstein analyst Stacy Rasgon said it was not immediately clear why TI was able to raise guidance but that its ability to raise both revenue and earnings targets may indicate that demand is improving in TI's core business.
"That could imply that the demand picture is better than expected on a broad basis," Rasgon said, but noted that he was waiting for the company to give more information on its conference call.
TI shares were largely unchanged in after hours trade after closing at $35.20 in the regular Nasdaq session. The stock has risen 5 percent since Jan. 22 as investors have been betting on an improvement in demand for TI.