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Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Texas Instruments Unsurprise (TXN)

By William Trent, CFA of Stock Market Beat

We were recently asked (see the comments to this post) which chipmakers were likely to bear the brunt of the inventory glut we have been writing about. Our answer: Texas Instruments (TXN).

So last night’s earnings warning shouldn’t really be called a surprise.
Chief Executive Richard Templeton said the third quarter was one of the best in the company’s history, but he also warned about a 12 percent decline in orders — a drop of $478 million, to $3.43 billion.

Templeton said TI believes that customers — manufacturers that use TI chips in their electronics products — built up their inventories and are running leaner without needing to place new orders. He also said orders were hurt by a shift in the wireless market toward low-priced cell phones.

Again, no surprise. Heck, we were writing about it back in June.

The article continues:
The company believes the order decline is “near term,” Slaymaker said. “We don’t hear our customers talk about any broad turndown in consumption; it’s just the mix in wireless,” he said.
But the slowdown comes in the traditionally strong fourth quarter, and the first quarter is usually weaker.

Yep, and by the time orders pick up there will be a whole slew of new capacity available, which will cause prices to be slashed. And that is still assuming there isn’t a “broad turndown in consumption” despite evidence that the US consumer may be running out of gas. The author may hold a position in the securities discussed.

A current list of the author's holdings is available here.

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