NEW YORK (CNNfn) - National Semiconductor Thursday reported a much-narrower-than-expected second-quarter operating loss, reflected by strong sales of its low-cost Cyrix chip.
The Santa Clara, Calif., chipmaker posted an operating loss of $48.6 million on $510.1 million in sales. National Semiconductor 's (NSM ) loss equaled 29 cents a share, well ahead of analyst estimates of a 49-cents-a-share loss, according to First Call.
Those figures exclude charges stemming from a manufacturing restructuring program and termination of its chip-manufacturing pact with IBM Corp. (IBM ).
Including those charges, National Semiconductor reported a loss of $94.4 million, or 57 cents a share, for its fiscal 1999 second quarter.
Despite reporting results ahead of Wall Street estimates, National Semiconductor's losses widened from the year-ago quarter, when it lost $28.9 million, or 17 cents a share, on $719.9 million in sales.
The company attributed much of its stronger-than-expected performance to sales of its Cyrix chip, which is designed for PCs priced less than $1,000. National Semiconductor also noted that its Cyrix MediaGX processor has been gaining orders for such consumer electronics products as hand-held computers and set-top boxes.
Although quarterly orders increased sequentially from first-quarter levels, National Semiconductor said orders for Cyrix processors grew at a slower rate over the summer as PC production peaked for the holiday season.
"While we enjoyed the recent strength in new orders, we remain cautious concerning holiday impacts on our traditional businesses during the third quarter," said Brian Halls, National Semiconductor chairman and chief executive.
National Semiconductor (NSM) shares slipped 1/8 to 16-1/2 in midday trading.