By Noel Randewich
SAN FRANCISCO, Oct 21 (Reuters) - Texas Instruments Inc forecast unexpectedly low fourth-quarter revenue, underscoring concerns about spotty demand for chips for cars, appliances, computers and industrial products and sending its shares lower.
Demand for chips used in cars and communications infrastructure had improved in the third quarter, helping make up for a drop in revenue as TI wound down its unprofitable wireless business.
“It looks like those segments now are decelerating,” said Williams Financial analyst Cody Acree. “It’s possible that the pace set earlier this year has left customers with a bit more inventory and that customers are being cautious managing their inventories heading into the end of year.”
TI Chief Financial Officer Kevin March said in an interview on Monday that his expectations of a quarter-over-quarter decline in revenue were based on normal holiday seasonality in those segments. Analysts differ in what they consider to be normal seasonal variations in demand.
“We don’t see anything that suggests to us anything other than a normal fourth quarter shaping up,” he said. “The Street had anticipated our normal seasonal calculator decline but I don’t think they had correctly anticipated the fourth quarter to be seasonally down.”
TI said on Monday revenue fell to $3.244 billion from $3.390 billion in the third quarter last year. In the fourth quarter, revenue will range from $2.86 billion to $3.10 billion, the company estimated.
Analysts on average had expected revenue of $3.226 billion for the third quarter and $3.116 billion for the current, fourth quarter, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
In the third quarter, demand improved as expected from automakers and industrial customers, as well as makers of game consoles and handsets, March said.
The company posted third-quarter net income of $629 million, or 56 cents a share, compared to $784 million, or 67 cents a share, in the year-ago quarter.
It said fourth-quarter earnings per share would range from 42 cents to 50 cents.
Shares of Texas Instruments fell 3.44 percent in extended trade after closing up 0.69 percent at $40.99 on Nasdaq.