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Texas Instruments Profit Rises, Revenue Disappoints

Texas Instruments Inc. (TXN), the world's top supplier of microchips for mobile phones, said Monday its quarterly profit rose nearly 34 percent but revenue was at the low end of its target range due to production constraints, and its shares fell 3 percent.

The company's fourth quarter profit rose to $655 million, or 40 cents a share, from $490 million, or 28 cents a share in the year-ago quarter. Revenue rose to $3.59 billion from $3.15 billion.

The company had said in December that it expected fourth-quarter earnings of 38 cents to 40 cents a share on revenue of $3.56 billion to $3.71 billion.

Texas Instruments shares fell 3 percent to $30.76 on Inet from a close of $31.70 on the New York Stock Exchange.

Chief Financial Officer Kevin March said fourth-quarter revenue was held back because the company was unable to meet some customer requests in time as it was waiting for the delivery of certain assembly and test equipment it needed for chip manufacturing.

"Our inventory levels are still below where they need to be." March said. "We hope to get them near where they need to be by the end of the first quarter but that will be a function of demand," March said in a telephone interview.

Texas Instruments said it expects first-quarter earnings from continuing operations of 29 cents to 33 cents per share.

Excluding 3 cents earnings per share for its sensors and controls business, which it is selling, and including 4 cents of stock option expenses, the guidance is roughly in-line with average analyst estimates of 38 cents a share.

The company expects first quarter revenue from continuing operations of $3.11 billion to $3.38 billion.

But Stifel Nicolaus analyst Cody Acree said that while he believed fourth quarter revenue was a little light he was pleased with the first quarter guidance.

"I think demand was good but TI was capacity constrained in the fourth quarter. The first quarter demand looks to be better than normal seasonal trends," Acree said.

The company also said its board had authorized an additional $5 billion in stock repurchases.

Texas Instruments' price to earnings ratio is 22.61 compared with an average of about 20 for the Dow Jones Semiconductor Index .