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NXP Semiconductors NV said Wednesday evening that sales declined 2% in the fourth quarter, and it projects the decline to worsen in the current quarter. The chip maker reported better than expected fourth-quarter results, with net income of $276 million, or 94 cents a share, on sales of $2.4 billion. Analysts on average expected earnings of 42 cents a share on sales of $2.38 billion, according to FactSet. The company's revenue, though, declined about 2% from the same quarter a year ago, and NXP predicted that first-quarter revenue will fall 5% to 11% from the same quarter last year. NXP's forecast calls for first-quarter revenue of $2.02 billion to $2.16 billion, lower than the average analyst forecast of $2.24 billion, according to FactSet. Chip makers' forecasts have disappointed investors for months amid a presumed downturn for the semiconductor market that many have said will turn back around in the second half of the year. NXP's U.S.-traded shares closed 2.5% higher at $92.45 Wednesday; the Dutch company released its earnings after the end of the extended trading session Wednesday. Market Pulse Stories are Rapid-fire, short news bursts on stocks and markets as they move. Visit MarketWatch.com for more information on this news.