Altera Announces Record Fourth Quarter Results

(PRNewswire) — Altera Corporation (Nasdaq: ALTR) today announced fourth quarter sales of $555.4 million, up 5 percent from the third quarter of 2010 and up 52 percent from the fourth quarter of 2009. New product sales increased 26 percent sequentially. Fourth quarter net income was $231.6 million, $0.72 per diluted share, compared with net income of $217.5 million, $0.69 per diluted share, in the third quarter of 2010 and $103.0 million, $0.34 per diluted share, in the fourth quarter of 2009.  

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Cash flow from operating activities in 2010 was $856.7 million. Altera ended the quarter with $2.8 billion in cash and short-term investments.  

Altera's board of directors has declared a quarterly cash dividend of $0.06 per share payable on March 1, 2011 to stockholders of record on February 10, 2011.  

"The fourth quarter delivered a positive note to end a remarkable sales growth year. Our sales were up 64 percent in 2010, significantly outpacing most companies in the semiconductor industry. In the fourth quarter, new products continued to be growth drivers as we saw substantial sales gains from our 65-nm and 40-nm FPGAs," said John Daane, president, chief executive officer, and chairman of the board. "During the fourth quarter we taped out our first 28-nm FPGAs. We believe Altera's unique features and performance will extend our technology leadership into this next FPGA generation adding to the momentum we have established at the 40-nm node."

Several recent accomplishments mark the company's continuing progress:

  • Altera announced its portfolio of 28-nm devices that will deliver the industry's most diverse product offering designed to effectively address the different needs of customers across the varied markets Altera serves. With this 28-nm portfolio, Altera leverages advantages in transceiver technology, product architecture, intellectual property (IP) integration, and process technology. Included in this announcement are the recently expanded Stratix® V and the new Cyclone® V and Arria® V FPGAs as well as the previously announced HardCopy® V ASIC family. Stratix V FPGAs address a broad range of high-bandwidth applications such as advanced LTE basestations, high-end RF cards and military radar. Arria V FPGAs target applications that require a balance of cost, low power and high performance, such as remote radio units, in-studio mixers and 10G/40G line cards. Cyclone V FPGAs are designed for applications where low power and board space are concerns, such as motor controls, displays and software-defined radios.
  • Altera acquired Avalon Microelectronics during the fourth quarter. Avalon's strong system expertise in transmission applications and detailed FPGA knowledge adds to Altera's portfolio of customizable IP solutions for an optical transport network (OTN). Avalon has established itself as an industry leader in flexible OTN IP used in FPGA and ASIC products. Avalon is a key provider to numerous top-tier communications infrastructure OEMs. Combining the two companies' IP capabilities offers the potential for customers to accelerate their time to market for next-generation optical networks and broadens Altera's attractiveness in this high-growth market.
  • Altera also announced the availability of the MAX® V CPLD family, expanding the company's market-leading MAX CPLD series of devices. The MAX V family uses half the total power of competitive CPLDs while maintaining the instant-on, single chip, non-volatile characteristics of earlier MAX series devices. The combination of low power and high performance make MAX V CPLDs ideal for general-purpose and portable designs in a wide variety of the vertical markets served by Altera. Altera has long been the market leader in CPLDs. The first MAX V family members are available now with the entire family shipping in full production during the second quarter of this year.
  • The Global Semiconductor Alliance (GSA) has named Altera the "Best Financially Managed Semiconductor Company." With member companies in 25 countries across the world, the GSA's mission is to accelerate the growth and increase the return on invested capital of the semiconductor industry by fostering a more effective fabless ecosystem. Altera received this award based on a number of financial metrics such as revenue, net income, return on investment, return on equity, inventory turns, days sales outstanding, cash per share, cash burn, gross profit margin, operating margin and current ratio.

Business Outlook for the First Quarter 2011


Sequential Sales Growth

Down 1% to 5%


Gross Margin

71% to 72%


Research and Development

$76 to 77 million


SG&A

$69 to 70 million


Tax Rate

10% to 12%





Fourth Quarter Earnings Conference Call

A conference call will be held today at 1:45 p.m. Pacific Time to discuss the quarter's results and management's current business outlook. The web cast and subsequent replay will be available in the Investor Relations section of the company's website at www.altera.com. A telephonic replay of the call may be accessed later in the day by calling (719) 457-0820 and referencing confirmation code 258712. The telephonic replay will be available for two weeks following the live call.

Altera's first quarter business update will be issued in a press release available after the market close on March 1, 2011.

Forward-Looking Statements  

Statements in this press release that are not historical are "forward-looking statements" as the term is defined in the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Forward-looking statements are generally written in the future tense and/or preceded by words such as "will," "expects," "anticipates," or other words that imply or predict a future state. Forward-looking statements include any projection of revenue, gross margin, expense or other financial items discussed in the Business Outlook section of this press release, the timing of MAX V shipments and the potential for continued technology leadership at 28 nm. Investors are cautioned that all forward-looking statements in this release involve risks and uncertainty that can cause actual results to differ from those currently anticipated, due to a number of factors, including without limitation, current global economic conditions, customer business environment, customer inventory levels, vertical market mix, market acceptance of the company's products, product introduction schedules, the rate of growth of the company's new products including Arria® II, Cyclone® III, Cyclone IV, Stratix® III,  Stratix IV FPGAs, MAX® II and MAX V CPLDs and HardCopy® device families, changes in the mix of our business between prototyping and production-based demand, as well as changes in economic conditions and other risk factors discussed in documents filed by the company with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) from time to time. Copies of Altera's SEC filings are posted on the company's website and are available from the company without charge. Forward-looking statements are made as of the date of this release, and, except as required by law, the company does not undertake an obligation to update its forward-looking statements to reflect future events or circumstances.

About Altera

Altera programmable solutions enable system and semiconductor companies to rapidly and cost-effectively innovate, differentiate and win in their markets. Find out more about Altera's FPGA, CPLD and ASIC devices at www.altera.com . Follow Altera via Facebook, RSS and Twitter.  

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