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What: Shares of Freescale (UNKNOWN:FSL.DL) have skyrocketed today by upwards of 12% after the semiconductor specialist posted first-quarter earnings results.

So what: Revenue in the first quarter came in at $981 million, easily besting the $966.1 million that the Street forecast. By the time investors got to the bottom line, the $0.03 per-share adjusted loss looked a lot better than the $0.09 per-share adjusted loss that they were braced for. CEO Gregg Lowe said the company's efforts to improve its capital structure are paying off.

Now what: Freescale continues to pursue new market opportunities, while reallocating research and development investments, which is helping boost profitability. The company also provided guidance for the coming quarter, with sales expected to be in the range of $1 billion to $1.04 billion. Gross margin should expand sequentially by between 0.9% and 1.3%, compared to 40.6% in the just-closed quarter.

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