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Texas Instruments’ Profit Plunges

October 20, 1998

DALLAS (AP) _ Texas Instruments Inc., hit hard by a global slump in computer chip prices, on Tuesday reported its third-quarter profit plunged from the inflated results of a year ago. But the company’s results easily beat Wall Street predictions.

Texas Instruments said it earned $164 million, or 41 cents a share on a diluted basis. That was down sharply from a profit of $1.71 billion, or $4.28 a diluted share, reported in the year-ago quarter, when the company gained $1.47 billion from the sale of its defense business. Without the one-time gain, TI’s profits would have dropped by about one-third.

Revenue fell 16 percent to $2.11 billion from $2.50 billion.

But the third-quarter profit far surpassed a First Call survey of analysts predicting Texas Instruments would earn 28 cents a diluted share. Texas Instruments shares fell 43 3/4 cents to $59.93 3/4 in trading on the New York Stock Exchange.

Texas Instruments cited the on-going downturn in the worldwide market for memory chips, the technology for storing a computer’s programs and data. To cope with the downturn, the company sold its memory-chip business to Micron Technologies this quarter but deferred the $127 million pre-tax gain.

The company has refocused on sales of specialized chips that supply the brainpower for a variety of consumer electronics, such as mobile telephones and digital televisions.

For the nine months ended Sept. 30, the company said it earned $218 million, or 55 cents a diluted share, down from $2.09 billion, or $5.26 a diluted share, in the year-ago period. Revenue fell to $6.47 billion from $7.32 billion.

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