Texas Instruments Inc.'s fourth quarter net income surged 512 percent on higher sales, improving margins and benefits from substantially lower restructuring expenses as the analog and wireless IC supplier continued to improve its operating position.
The company said it now sees sales for the first quarter rising sequentially from the preceding quarter to between $2.95 billion and $3.19 billion, on continued strength in the analog semiconductor market, a segment that continues to show resilience through the global economic and industry downturn.
"In the fourth quarter, demand was strong across end markets without the usual holiday slowdown," said Rich Templeton, chairman, president and CEO of TI in a statement. "With demand continuing to be solid and inventories well below historical levels, our outlook for the first quarter reflects the likelihood of sequential growth instead of the typical seasonal decline."
Dallas, Texas-based TI reported net profit of $655 million, or 52 cents per share, in the three months ended Dec. 31, compared with net income of $107 million, or 8 cents per share, in the year-ago comparable quarter. The company's performance in the fourth quarter of 2008 suffered from restructuring expenses of $254 million versus $12 million in the recently ended quarter.
TI's revenue for the fourth quarter of 2009 rose 21 percent, to $3 billion from $2.5 billion in the year-ago quarter, lifted by strong demand for analog components and improvements in the company's wireless and embedded processing segments.
The analog and wireless IC company has seen improvement in sales since the third quarter although it had problems meeting some unexpected demand during the last quarter as OEMs increased demand for analog components.
In the latest quarter, TI's analog sales rose to $1.3 billion from $1 billion in the year-ago quarter and $1.2 billion in the third quarter. Embedded processing revenue increased to $412 million from $340 million while wireless IC sales strengthened to $732 million from $646 million.
TI also showed improvement in its margins on higher manufacturing asset utilization and lower overall costs. Gross profit margin in the fourth quarter increased to 53 percent from 44 percent while operating profit surged on lower reorganization charges as well as reduced R&D and selling, general and administrative expenses.
The company said R&D expenses for 2010 would be approximately $1.5 billion while capital expenditure for the year is forecast to be $900 million. Total capex in 2009 was $753 million down $10 million from the prior year.