Freescale Semiconductor Holdings Ltd.'s net loss narrowed sharply in the fourth quarter on a five-percentage point improvement in gross profit margins and the absence of special charges that hurt its financial performance in the year-ago period.
Freescale reported a net loss of $525 million for the three months ended December 31 compared with a net loss of $2.7 billion in the fourth quarter of 2006.
The year-ago quarter results included a hefty $2.26 billion charge for in-process research and development. Revenue in the latest quarter dropped to $1.54 billion from $1.62 billion in the comparable 2006 quarter.
Excluding special charges, Freescale, now a privately owned company, said its earnings before interests, taxes, depreciation and amortization for the fourth quarter improved to $406 million compared with a loss of $1.31 billion in the year-ago quarter.
The company ended the year with $751 million in cash and short-term investments, improving upon the $710 million it had at the end of 2006.
While sales declined on a year-over-year basis in almost all of Freescale's operating division, they improved overall sequentially led by the segment that licenses the company's intellectual property among other activities.
Microcontroller sales fell to $467 million from $476 million in the year-ago period and cellular revenue declined to $361 million from $417 million.