The National Semiconductor Corp. has reported a profit of $65.8 million, or $0.34 per share, on revenues of $473.5 million for the second quarter of fiscal 2004, which ended Nov. 23.
The company’s sales were 12 percent higher than the second quarter of fiscal 2003 and 11 percent higher than the first quarter of fiscal 2004, when the company reported revenues of $424.8 million and earnings of $0.15 per share. National's second quarter net results included special charges of $6 million for severances and exits of leased facilities in connection with cost-reduction activities. Without these charges, National would have reported net after-tax income of $71.1 million, or earnings of $0.36 per share.
"Sales are up, expenses are down and our profits doubled from the first quarter," Brian L. Halla, National's chairman, president and CEO, said in a written statement from the company. "We are ahead of the goals we set for ourselves. As a result, we achieved a 19-percent return on invested capital in the quarter."
Gross margins increased by 2.9 percentage points in the second quarter to 50.1 percent, up from the 47.2 percent gross margin reported in the first quarter and 42.9 percent gross margin reported in the second quarter of fiscal 2003. With factory utilization above 90 percent, the company continues to drive improvements in product mix and average selling prices. During the quarter, the company also completed $400 million of stock repurchases under a program announced in July 2003.
"I think they've realigned their product portfolio toward more integrated, high-performance products and it's paying off," said Clark Fuhs, an analyst with Fulcrum Global Partners, in a Reuters report.
According to the report, Wall Street was expecting a profit of $0.28 to $0.36 a share, with an average estimate of $0.32, according to a poll of 15 analysts by Reuters Research, a unit of Reuters Group Plc. Revenue was expected to be $463.6 million.
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