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Cypress prelim 4Q numbers disappoint, shares drop

SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) -- Cypress Semiconductor Corp. on Tuesday issued preliminary fourth-quarter financial results that were far short of Wall Street's expectations, and said that year-end purchasing by its customers was much weaker than expected. It shares fell 7 percent in morning trading.

Chief Financial Officer Brad Buss said revenue was hurt more than expected due to an "anemic macro environment" that continued to affect the semiconductor industry in the final three months of 2012. In the last two weeks of December, semiconductor customers of all types purchased less than Cypress' distributors had forecast, Buss said.

Fourth-quarter sales at each of the company's divisions were weaker than expected, and will decline compared with last year's third quarter, Buss said.

Cypress now expects to report adjusted per-share earnings of 3 cents to 4 cents for the fourth quarter on revenue of $177 million to $179 million. Including one-time items, Cypress expects a quarterly per-share loss of 20 cents to 22 cents.

Analysts had expected adjusted earnings of 14 cents per share on average and revenue of $193.4 million, according to a survey by FactSet.

Cypress said the preliminary results were subject to change, and the San Jose, Calif.-based company will provide more details when it releases fourth-quarter results on Jan. 24.

Buss said Cypress' backlog of customer orders has stabilized over the last two weeks. Consequently, he expects that that the first quarter "will be the bottom for revenue and bookings."

However, he added that economic conditions remain "very fluid, with lead-times near historical lows. This continues to impact the visibility for our distribution partners and us."

Shares of Cypress fell 90 cents to $10.15 in morning trading. The stock has traded in a range of $8.70 to $19.25 over the past 52 weeks.