Wachovia downgraded Texas Instruments (TXN) to hold from buy.
Analyst John Barton says his downgrade reflects a weaker-than-expected outlook. He says the company will suffer from weakening demand -- especially semiconductors and end markets related to PCs -- going into a typically seasonally strong fourth quarter. He notes that as an integrated device manufacturer, TI is exposed to the effects of low capacity utilization (i.e. declining gross margins) due to poor demand. Barton lowered his 45.6% 2003 gross margin estimate to 36.8%. He cut his $0.11 fourthq suarter earnings per share estimate to $0.02, and cut the $0.69 2003 estimate to $0.21. Barton also lowered his $2.32 billion fourth quarter revenue estimate to $2.02 billion, and cut the $10.2 billion 2003 estimate to $8.6 billion.