National Semiconductor Reports Results for First Quarter Fiscal 2009

September 07, 2008 by Jeff Shepard

National Semiconductor Corp. reported sales of $466 million and net income of $80 million, or 33 cents per share, for the first quarter of fiscal 2009 which ended August 24, 2008. In National’s fourth quarter of fiscal 2008, the company reported $462 million in sales, $83 million in net income and 34 cents per share.

Gross margin of 66.0% in National’s first quarter of fiscal 2009 set a new record for the company and was up from the 65.9% gross margin achieved in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2008. Gross margin was considerably higher than the gross margin of 63.0% reported in the first quarter of fiscal 2008. Strength in gross margin continues to be driven by strong manufacturing performance and cost efficiencies as well as improved product mix of higher-value analog products.

"The global energy crisis is a problem that needs solving, and with our leadership position in power management technology, this is our focus for growth," said Brian L. Halla, National’s Chairman and CEO. "For example, we recently announced our SolarMagic technology, which significantly improves the efficiency of new or existing solar panel installations by recouping lost energy caused by shading or other sub-optimal conditions."

National’s total company bookings in the first quarter of fiscal 2009 were down seasonally by about 7% compared to the prior quarter. This lower level of bookings was seen primarily in the distribution channel. It was also impacted by some truncation of longer-term backlog in our Japan region, which did not have any notable effect on near-term sales trends for that region; however, total company opening 13-week backlog for the second quarter was higher than the first quarter. Total company billings exceeded bookings in the first quarter.

Included in first quarter fiscal 2009 results was $1 million in severance and restructuring expense related to previously announced actions and $19 million in stock compensation expense under FASB Statement 123(R). One year ago, the first quarter of fiscal 2008 included a $1 million credit in severance and restructuring and $20 million of stock compensation expense. All of these amounts are on a pre-tax basis.

During the first quarter of fiscal 2009, the company repurchased approximately $105 million of stock under its stock buyback program. As of the end of the first quarter of fiscal 2009, National had approximately $151 million of authorization still available under approved programs for future stock repurchases. National Semiconductor’s fully diluted weighted average share count for the first quarter of fiscal of 2009 was 241 million shares, down from 246 million shares in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2008.

The company also announced that the Board of Directors has declared a cash dividend of $0.06 per outstanding share of common stock. This dividend will be paid on October 6, 2008 to shareholders of record at the close of business on September 18, 2008.