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What: Shares of Cypress Semiconductor (NASDAQ:CY) got chopped down today by as much as 10% after the company provided preliminary earnings estimates.

So what: Cypress expects fourth quarter sales to be in the range of $177 million to $179 million, with non-GAAP earnings per share of $0.03 to $0.04. These results are less than the company's own forecasts due to lower sales and gross margins that were attributable to product mix, reduced manufacturing absorption, and inventory related charges.

Now what: CFO Brad Buss called the macro environment "anemic," which weighed heavily on the semiconductor industry, and the last two weeks of the quarter were particularly brutal. Within Cypress' distribution channels, sales were slower than forecast throughout all geographies. The company expects the first quarter to be the bottom. Analysts were expecting Cypress to put up fourth quarter sales of $193.4 million and earnings per share of $0.14.

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Fool contributor Evan Niu, CFA, has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool recommends Cypress Semiconductor. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.