SAN FRANCISCOChip makers including Sandisk Corp., Maxim Integrated Products Inc., Cypress Semiconductor Corp. and Lattice Semiconductor Corp. swung to profit in the final quarter of 2009compared to losses suffered at the height of the downturn in late 2008.
But memory technology licensor Rambus Inc. posted a wider loss after retroactively recognizing previously withheld royalties in the year-ago period.
Sandisk (Milpitas, Calif.) said fourth quarter 2009 sales shot up 44 percent compared to the year-ago period and 33 percent compared to the third quarter, reaching $1.24 billion. In accordance with generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP), fourth quarter net income was $340 million, or $1.45 per share, Sandisk said, compared to a net loss of $1.76 billion in the fourth quarter of 2008 and a net income of $231 million in the third quarter of 2009.
On a pro forma basis, excluding charges, Sandisk reported a net income of$277 million, or $1.18 per diluted share.
Analysts were expecting Sandisk to report fourth quarter revenue of about $1.16 billion, with pro forma earnings of 69 cents per share, according to Yahoo Finance.
Eli Harari, Sandisk chairman and CEO, said the company had a "terrific" fourth quarter. "Product gross margin was sharply higher due to continued strong cost reductions and stable pricing," he said.
Total revenue for fiscal 2009 was $3.57 billion, Sandisk said, up 6 percent from 2008. The company posted a GAAP net income for the year of $415 million, or $1.79 per diluted share, compared with a net loss of $2 billion, or $8.82 per share, in 2008.
"In 2010, we look forward to solid growth in our markets with a continued emphasis on profitability," Harari said.
Maxim (Sunnyvale, Calif.) reported revenue of $473.5 million for the quarter ended Dec. 26, 2009, an increase of 5 percent compared to the previous quarter and 15 percent compared to the year-ago period. Maxim posted a GAAP net income of $58.6, or 19 cents per diluted share, an improvement from a net income of $42 million in the previous quarter and a loss of $38.8 million in the year-ago quarter.
Consensus analyst expectations had called for Maxim to report revenue of $459.4 million and a net income of 18 cents per share, according to Yahoo Finance.
Maxim said it expects revenue for the current quarter to be between $500 million and $520 million, well above consensus analyst estimates of nearly $449 million.