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Why Lattice Semiconductor Shares Fell Apart

By Alex Planes - Apr 19, 2013 at 1:37PM

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Is this meaningful? Or just another movement?

Although we don't believe in timing the market or panicking over market movements, we do like to keep an eye on big changes -- just in case they're material to our investing thesis.

What: Shares of Lattice Semiconductor (LSCC 1.24%) are more than 6% lower today after crashing by nearly 12% at the start of trading as a result of last night's earnings report, which didn't impress analysts.

So what: Lattice posted $71.2 million in first-quarter revenue and $0.02 per share in EPS. While revenue beat the $70.6 analyst consensus estimate, EPS was slightly below the $0.03 Wall Street was looking for. However, different consensus estimates had different opinions on EPS, as some projected $0.02, or even $0.01 in one case. CEO Darin Billerbeck cited sequential revenue growth of 15% to 20% as his guidance range for the second quarter, translating into $81.9 million to $85.4 million. That appears to be well above the $71.5 million revenue consensus, and gross margins between 49% and 53%, which is a sequential decline from the 53.6% gross margin reported in the first quarter.

Now what: There's nothing in this report to justify market pessimism, besides what appears to be shrinking gross margins. However, that should be somewhat offset by the huge increase in revenue, which is all but certain to pull EPS higher even at the low end of the current gross margin guidance range. It might be worth keeping your eye on this stock, which Wall Street doesn't seem to have quite figured out yet.

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