NatSemi reports big loss for Q1 '99

Halla still cautious about market turning

As expected, National Semiconductor reported a big loss for its first quarter of its 1999 financial year. Turnover dropped by eight per cent compared to Q4 of 1998 and it showed a net loss of $104.8 million on turnover of $469.6 million. That compares unfavourably with a profit in the equivalent quarter last year of $62 million on turnover of $656.7 million. According to Brian Halla, CEO of NatSemi, sales were soft in the summer quarter. But he said that he thought his company "mahve have touched bottom". Bookings for its first quarter improved for the firsy time in a year, he added. Those booking improvements were largely due to the PC market. That echoes similar statements from Intel (see separate story, today). US and European bookings grew faster than other regions, but only Asia Pacific bookings showed a decline compared with its Q4 1998 bookings. Halla said: "We still feel it is too early to call the turn, and we remain cautious on the near term outlook." ®

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