SAN JOSE -- Accelerating demand for programmable logic devices in North America and especially Europe drove Altera Corp. here to record revenues and profits in the first quarter. The chip maker also beat Wall Street earnings estimates with 36 cents per share.
Analysts surveyed by First Call/Thomson Financial had been expecting Altera to earn between 33 and 35 cents a share.
The San Jose chip maker netted $75.2 million on sales of $272.8 million -- both company records, and up 17% and 15%, respectively, from the previous quarter. Compared to the same period last year, the increases were 60% and 46%, respectively. "Revenues were ahead of our expectations," said Rodney Smith, president and CEO.
First quarter earnings included after-tax charges of $1.4 million representing the company's share in the startup losses of WaferTech, a Camas, Wash., foundry that Altera co-owns with Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co.
Sales growth was strongest in Europe, at 30%, with North America following at 17%, and Asia-Pacific at 12%. Sales declined 6% in Japan.
Altera plans to step up the introduction of new products in 2000. New product revenues in the first quarter were 42% of sales, growing 28% sequentially and 187% over the same period last year. Mainstream product revenues were 33% of sales, growing at slower paces. Mature product sales grew 2% sequentially.