Brian Halla, CEO of National Semiconductor

This is a partial transcript from Your World with Neil Cavuto, December 4, 2003, that was edited for clarity.

Watch Your World w/Cavuto weekdays at 4 p.m. and 1 a.m. ET.

NEIL CAVUTO, HOST: A chip off the old block for tech giant National Semiconductor which beat Street estimates Thursday. The company posted an eight percent increase from its first quarter due to strong sales, less expenses.

With us now from California, Brian Halla, the National Semiconductor chairman and CEO.

Brian, good to have you.


CAVUTO: Yes, it is.

HALLA: I can hear you just fine.

CAVUTO: All right. Apologize for that before.

We were talking about your better than expected numbers, we’re also talking on a day Intel was forecasting better than expected revenue for this quarter. It seems like you tech guys are back partying. Are you?

HALLA: Hey, I’ll tell you what, it feels great. It’s going to be a very merry Christmas.

We started our recovery back at the first of the year, back in February, when we disposed of a couple digital businesses. And we said, hey, we’re going to create our own recovery at the bottom line regardless of what happens to the economy. And then about three quarters ago, we saw a sharp an up-tick in consumption of consumer products in Japan and then Asia after SARS.

And I’ll tell you what, now if we have an IT recovery, it’s icing on the cake for us. We’re an analogue company, and the analogue business is booming.

CAVUTO: Who is buying from you right now?

HALLA: We sell to all the large handset suppliers, we sell analogue circuits for flat panel displays. Our partner there is Samson. The big consumers are all the usual suspects in the display business. And we have seen a tremendous pickup of activity in notebook computers, particularly the builders in Taiwan.

CAVUTO: Let me get your sense of where you see this going. You know, there a lot of people who love your industry, Brian, who are saying they’re just afraid it has gotten ahead of yourself, including, in your case, your stock. What do you say?

HALLA: Well, am I supposed to feel bad about that?

CAVUTO: Good point.

HALLA: Last earnings call I was sitting here, and at the end of the earnings call, we closed at $28 a share. And today we’re at $42. And so, that is not a tear coming out of my eye.

CAVUTO: All right. But do you think it can last?

HALLA: Oh, yes. Absolutely.

You know, it is like everything. Everything is eventually going to a semiconductor level. And right now, and particularly in the analogue business, virtually everything is using more and more analogue circuitry. Sight, sound, touch and feel, all of that stuff is analogue.

CAVUTO: All right. We’ll see what happens. Brian Halla, thank you very much, National Semiconductor’s chairman and CEO.

HALLA: Thank you, Neil. Good to talk to you.

CAVUTO: Thank you, sir.

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