* SanDisk Q3 adjusted EPS $1.20, above Street
* Altera expects decline in revenue
* SanDisk shares up after earnings report
By Noel Randewich
SAN FRANCISCO, Oct 20 (Reuters) - Flash memory supplier SanDisk forecast quarterly revenue near analysts’ expectations thanks to growth in tablets and smartphones, but other chipmakers warned that a lackluster economy is hurting demand.
Sales of Apple’s iPad and iPhone as well as smartphones using Google’s Android platform have been a bright spot as high U.S. unemployment and a financial crisis in Europe weigh on sales of consumer electronics.
“The mobile market continues to experience robust growth in feature phones, smartphones, tablets and e-readers,” SanDisk Chief Executive Sanjay Mehrotra told analysts on a conference call.
Chipmakers less connected to mobile devices cautioned investors that economic uncertainty is affecting their sales.
Freescale Semiconductor Holdings , which makes chips for cars, cellphones and other consumer products, reported third-quarter revenue of $1.14 billion, down from $1.15 billion in the year-ago period, although slightly beating expectations.
“Looking ahead to the fourth quarter, we expect the weakness in the semiconductor market to continue to negatively impact our business,” Freescale CEO Rick Beyer said in a statement.
Also pinched, programmable chipmaker Altera said its revenue in the current quarter would fall between 7 percent and 11 percent sequentially, to about $465 million to $485 million, which is less than the $532 million expected by analysts.
Wary of increasing capacity amid economic uncertainty, chipmakers ordered 15 percent less manufacturing equipment in September, the Semiconductor Equipment and Materials International said.
“While device makers are investing in advanced technology, broader investments await stability in the overall economic outlook,” the organization said in a statement.
SanDisk reported revenue of $1.42 billion for its third quarter, ended Oct. 2, up 15 percent and matching expectations of $1.42 billion, according to ThomsonReuters I/B/E/S.
The company said revenue in the current quarter would be between $1.5 billion and $1.6 billion. Analysts on average expect $1.58 billion.
SanDisk’s adjusted earnings for the past quarter fell to $292 million, or $1.20 a share, from $311 million, or $1.30 a share, in the year-ago period. Analysts on average expected $1.07.
Shares of Milpitas, California, SanDisk rose 2 percent following its earnings report, after closing 0.7 percent higher at $45.50 on the Nasdaq.