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Chip maker Altera posts lower 4Q earnings

The Associated Press

SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) -- Chip maker on Wednesday reported a steeper-than-expected drop in profit and revenue.

The San Jose, Calif., company earned $121 million in the fourth quarter, down 18 percent from about $147 million a year ago. Per-share earnings amounted to 37 cents, down from 45 cents a year ago. Analysts polled by FactSet predicted earnings of 39 cents per share.

Revenue was down 4 percent to $439 million, which also missed Wall Street's expectations of $451 million.

Sales of older products were soft and the company blamed the sluggish world economy for that. Sales in most of its markets in the Americas and overseas were lower than a year ago. CEO John Daane said that sales of newer products were growing fast, with sales in that group up 39 percent from a year ago.

Altera shares fell 33 cents to close at $35.18.