The company reported that orders in May were much higher-than-expected, resulting
in revenues at the top end of previous guidance. Its forecasts for the remainder of the year were upped, with the firm saying it
“would not be unreasonable to grow earnings 15-20%” (annual EPS is estimated to come in at $1.41-1.51 vs. a $1.24
consensus). National made good progress in margins over Q4, primarily due to modernization of its production facilities.
A spokesperson said that gross margins should be approximately 65% going forward, but added that there was potential for uptick due to factory underutilization.
National Semiconductor will head into fiscal 2009 with a higher level of backlog, low inventories, and strength in most markets, putting it well positioned in the eyes of investors.
Jeffries & Co.
Analysts were largely bullish on the release, with Jefferies & Co. praising National’s results and citing strength in cost control and manufacturing rates. They said that gross margins have nowhere to go but up, and that National represents “a successful example among semiconductor
companies on business restructuring along with flawless execution.”
In their most recent conference call (6/5/2008), NSM executives mentioned that they are developing technologies that will significant improve the efficiency of solar panels. This shows good innovation and foresight to enter a sector which certainly has a lot of room to grow.