National Semiconductor (NSM) expects first-quarter fiscal 2003 sales to be around the same level as the fiscal 2002 fourth quarter, vs. its previous 6%-8% growth guidance. Salomon Smith Barney cut its profit estimates.
Analyst Jonathan Joseph says most of the shortfall was ascribed to the PC component market, as well as softness in the cathode-ray tube (CRT) displays market. He says the company has yet to see softness in the cellular handset segment. The analyst thinks National Semi's August outlook is cautiously optimistic. Joseph cut his $0.10 first quarter EPS estimate to $0.01, his full-year fiscal 2003 forecast from $0.60 to $0.25, and his $1.30 fiscal 2004 projection to $1.00. He trimmed his price target to $20, 20 times his new fiscal 2004 EPS estimate. Joseph maintains his neutral rating on the stock.