Altera Corp. today said first-quarter sales grew 46% over a year ago, as momentum for the company's newer products increased within North America and Europe.
Had the PLD supplier been able to get its most complex parts manufactured quickly enough, its revenue would have grown substantially higher, according to Rodney Smith, president and chief executive.
"We're seeing exciting design activity in the [APEX 20KE] family," Smith said in a confrence call with analysts. "It's a hot product. There would have been more business available for the taking if we had had the wafers to ship."
As it was, Altera posted sales of $272.8 million for the first quarter of 2000, an increase of 15% over the December-ended quarter. Net income was $75.2 million, or 36 cents per diluted share, beating most estimates by a few pennies. Current signs point to top line growth in excess of 50% for the fiscal year, with a gross profit margin of 65%, Smith said.
The APEX 20KE family has come on strong, Smith said, generating $6 million in revenue in the first quarter, up from $3 million a quarter ago. Based on current bookings, that number is expected to more than double in the second quarter.
Other new families, such as the FLEX 10KE and ACEX 1K products, were also in high demand, leaving Altera "unable to maintain distributor stock at desired levels," or satisfy demand at its direct accounts, said chief financial officer, Nathan Sarkesian. While distributor inventory levels grew during the quarter from two months to 2.1 months, backlog also grew 68% for new products, and 33% for mainstream devices.
"We're now in a fairly significant volume ramp, in terms of wafer and die coming out of the fabs," he said. "Within 30 days, this should alleviate most of those supply constraints."
However, the company attributed its delinquency to higher-than-expected demand for the new products, and not the widespread foundry capacity crunch.
In all, new products accounted for 42% of sales, while mainstream families, including the 5-V FLEX 10K, MAX 9000, and MAX 7000S parts, were 33% of the total.
Geographically, North America remains Altera's strongest sales region, accounting for 57% of the total, up 48% from a year ago. Europe, at 23% of total sales, experienced 73% growth year-to-year, which Altera attributed to the region's strong communications focus. Japan declined slightly in the quarter, due to an inventory correction at a major customer, but was up 15% year-to-year, and 47% in new products, alone. Asia-Pacific also got a boost from new product sales, growing 55% from a year ago to represent 5% of Altera's total sales.