Altera Posts Quarterly Earnings Above Consensus Expectations

Altera reported a rise in quarterly profits and said it expects industry conditions to improve.

The maker of programmable microchips found in telecommunications gear, industrial equipment and consumer electronics, said net profit for the first quarter was $75.1 million, or 21 cents a share, compared with $58.7 million, or 16 cents a share, a year earlier.

Revenue rose 4% on the year to $304.9 million.

The company was expected to report earnings income of $69.7 million, or 19 cents a share, on revenue of $310.2 million, according to Reuters Estimates.

For the second quarter, Altera expects revenue to rise between 1% and 4% from the first quarter, with gross margins of between 65% and 66%.

"Although slowing conditions in the communications market and continuing customer inventory corrections muted our sales in the first three months of 2007, we anticipate that industry conditions will improve in the second quarter," Chief Executive John Daane, said in a statement.

Altera shares rose 2.6% to $21.88 in extended trading after the results were announced. The stock is nearly unchanged from a year ago and is up about 37% from its 52-week low in July.

Altera's chief competitor is Xilinx, whose shares are up 1.2% from a year earlier.

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