As expected, National Semiconductor reported a big loss for the first quarter of its 1999 financial year.
Turnover dropped by eight per cent compared to fourth quarter of 1998 and it showed a net loss of $104.8 million on turnover of $469.6 million.
That also compares unfavourably with a profit in the year-ago quarter, when the chipmaker made $62 million on turnover of $656.7 million.
According to Brian Halla, chief executive of Natsemi, sales were soft in the summer quarter, but he believes the company "may have touched bottom". Bookings for the first quarter improved for the first time in a year, he added.
Those booking improvements were largely due to the booming low end PC market, which has also boosted Intel (see separate story).
US and European bookings grew faster than those in other regions, but only Asia-Pacific orders showed a decline compared with Q4 1998.
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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