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© fotosonar dreamstime.com Components | October 24, 2012

STMicro swings to loss

STMicroelectronics N.V. reported - for the fourth consecutive quarter - a loss of USD 478 million.
Revenue fell 11% to USD 2.17 billion, in line with the USD 2.14 - 2.27 billion that the company predicted in July.

Automotive (APG) third quarter net revenues decreased 3.1% sequentially, mainly due to weak market trends. APG third quarter operating margin was 8.6%, compared to 9.4% in the prior quarter.

Analog, MEMS and Microcontrollers (AMM) third quarter net revenues increased 3.9% sequentially driven by analog and microcontroller applications. AMM operating margin was 12.6% in the 2012 third quarter, stable compared to the prior quarter.

Digital third quarter net revenues decreased 7.8% sequentially principally due to weak demand from specific Imaging customers leading to a sequential revenue decrease of the Imaging, Bi-CMOS ASIC and Silicon Photonics (IBP) division to $85 million from $124 million in the previous quarter. Digital operating loss was reduced to negative $30 million in the 2012 third quarter, compared to a loss of $36 million in the prior quarter.

Power Discrete (PDP) third quarter net revenues increased 5.2% sequentially due to higher demand for Power MOSFET and IGBT. PDP operating margin increased to 6.4% in the 2012 third quarter compared to 1.6% in the prior quarter.

Wireless net revenues in the third quarter increased 4.3% compared to the prior quarter reflecting ST-Ericsson’s continued ramp of NovaThor platforms as well as revenues from IP licensing. Wireless operating loss was $184 million in the third quarter, or $98 million after considering non-controlling interest, compared to a loss of $240 million, or $113 million after considering non-controlling interest, in the prior quarter.

President and CEO Carlo Bozotti commented:

“Our third quarter revenue and gross margin results delivered sequential improvements. Overall, the strength of our product portfolio enabled us to manage the current weak demand environment. As anticipated, we benefited from the revenue growth of our MEMS, microcontrollers, Power MOSFET and IGBT businesses, which continue to expand into new applications, and we continue to strengthen relationships with key market leaders, such as Audi and Samsung. ST’s wholly-owned businesses operating margin improved, on a sequential basis, to 5.8%, mainly driven by improvements in our Power Discrete (PDP) segment."

“We have already been taking a number of important steps to advance our key priorities. In December, we will present our new strategic plan which will accelerate the roadmap towards our previously announced financial model and ensure the future success of both our Analog and Digital businesses and, therefore, of our company as a whole."

“Through this process we are progressing in moving our digital businesses towards self-sustainability and we are announcing today a new $150 million annual savings plan at the ST level: a part of the savings coming from the identified initiatives to leverage on the synergies of our Unified Processing Platform approach announced in April, and the remainder of the savings coming from other new initiatives, such as efficiencies in our process technology development model and expenses related to design outsourcing."

“Our Wireless segment delivered strong progress during the third quarter; however, the segment’s operating loss and negative cash flows still remain significant. As part of our annual impairment test and based upon our assessment of the Wireless segment plan, updated in Q3 2012, and the evolving dynamics of the smartphone industry, we posted a non-cash charge of $690 million. This charge reflects our current best estimate of the fair market value of our Wireless business.”

Outlook

The Company expects fourth quarter 2012 revenues sequential evolution to be in the range of about -5% to +2%. Reflecting significantly higher unsaturation charges compared to the third quarter, gross margin in the fourth quarter is expected to be about 32.0%, plus or minus 2 percentage points.

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