TI turns $298M profit in Q4, still a 68% drop from year ago

Texas Instruments Inc. saw profits of $298 million in the fourth quarter – a 68 percent drop over the same period a year ago.

TI, which made a major acquisition of National Semiconductor in September, and saw charges of $256 million in the fourth quarter related to that deal that ate into profits, executives said in their Monday financial filings.

That $6.5 billion acquisition included NatSemi’s South Portland fab in southern Maine, which employs about 550 people, making it one of that city’s biggest employers.

Other charges included costs associated with plans to close two older chip plants in Hiji, Japan, and Houston, Texas, over the next 18 months. The total charge for the closures is estimated at about $215 million, of which $112 million was incurred in the fourth quarter and the remainder will occur over the next seven quarters, TI said, and annual savings will be about $100 million once the transition is complete.

Fourth-quarter revenue hit $3.42 billion, down 3 percent from the same period a year ago.

“Revenue in the fourth quarter was higher than expected across all our major product lines, reinforcing our belief that we’re at the bottom of this downturn.  I’m pleased to say that despite the downturn and the lower factory utilization that came with it, cash flow from operations was strong and well above levels as compared with similar points in prior downturns.  Our strategic focus on our core businesses and efficient investment in capacity are key to our strong generation of cash,” said Rich Templeton, chairman, president and CEO. “As we move into 2012, we enter the final phase of our planned exit from the baseband market, and thus further tighten our focus on analog, embedded processing and wireless.”

For the full year, TI had profits of $2.2 billion, compared to $3.2 billion the prior year.

The company beat Wall Street’s expectations, according to Thomson Reuters. Analysts had expected revenues of $3.25 billion, compared to actual revenues of $3.42 revenue for the quarter.

Texas Instruments trades on the NASDAQ under the symbol “TXN.” It was selling at $33.19 a share in late day trading Monday.