National Semiconductor shares drop after forecast

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NEW YORK (AP) - Shares of National Semiconductor Corp. dropped Friday after the company’s quarterly sales forecast missed Wall Street forecasts, another sign from chip makers that demand is weakening.

THE SPARK: After the close of trading Thursday, National Semiconductor said it expects revenue of $390 million to $415 million for the three months ending in November. Analysts were looking for revenue of $420.6 million, according to Thomson Reuters.

THE BIG PICTURE: National Semiconductor isn’t the only chip maker warning of a weaker-than-expected second half to the year.

Texas Instruments Inc. on Thursday lowered the top-end of its estimate range for earnings per share and revenue in the quarter ending this month.

THE ANALYSIS: In a client note, FBR Capital Markets analyst Craig Berger said companies across the semiconductor industry will see revenue weaken over the third and fourth quarters as distributors look to cut inventories.

Berger kept a “market perform” rating on National Semiconductor but lowered his price target for shares to $17.50 from $19.

SHARE ACTION: The stock dropped 96 cents, or 7.4 percent, to $11.94 in afternoon trading after touching a new 52-week low of $11.84 earlier Friday.

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