Freescale Semiconductor Holdings Ltd.'s fourth quarter net loss narrowed sharply from the year-ago period on slightly higher sales, improved margins and reduced one-time charges that had in the past mauled earnings.
The company reported net loss of $114 million for the last quarter of 2009 and revenue of $951 million compared with net loss of $4 billion on revenue of $940 million in the comparable period of 2008. In the year-ago quarter, Freescale's financial performance was negatively impacted by a $3.6 billion charge related to the write down of goodwill and intangible assets.
The company in the recently ended quarter reported other expenses totaled $131 million versus $208 million in the fourth quarter of 2008.
Freescale's revenue grew both year-over-year and sequentially continuing a trend company executives have said is critical to the automotive IC vendor's efforts to return to profitability. On a sequential basis, Freescale's sales grew from $893 million in the third quarter and gross profit margin improved to approximately 33 percent from 28 percent.
"Freescale executed well during the fourth quarter and 2009, delivering improving revenue and earnings performance throughout the year," Rich Beyer, chairman and CEO of the Austin, Texas-based semiconductor manufacturer said in a statement.
"Our strong financial position, leadership in embedded processing across our core networking and automotive businesses, and significant opportunities in consumer and industrial segments, provide a diversified foundation for growth in 2010," he added.
Although Freescale's financial position improved in the final quarter of 2009, the company has yet to fully recover sales lost in previous years. In 2009, for instance, total revenue dropped to $3.5 billion from $5.2 billion in 2008 while net loss shrank to $748 million from $7.9 billion. The 2008 fiscal year results included impairment charges of $7 billion related to goodwill and intangible assets.