Vitesse Falls on Second Profit Warning

Vitesse Semiconductor (Nasdaq: VTSS) fell US$4.44 to $29.50 in morning trading Tuesday, after the company reduced itsoutlook for the current fiscal quarter for the second time this month.

Reports of downgrades at Credit Suisse First Boston and UBS Paine Webberhelped fuel the decline.

“Near-term visibility at a majority of our customers has worsened over thelast few weeks, and we expect this phenomenon to continue into the nextquarter,” Vitesse president and chief executive officer Lou Tomasetta said.

Vitesse said that because of “continued weakness in demand and ordercancellations in the quarter,” it now expects pro forma income of 10 to 11cents per share for the second quarter ending March 31st, down from apreviously projected 21 to 22 cents.

The company also cut its revenueforecast for the quarter to $120 million to $125 million, from $150 millionto $160 million.

“We will be taking a hard look at managing our cost structure withoutcompromising our ability to roll out new products in a timely manner,”Tomasetta said.

Earlier this month, Vitesse shares were able to shrug off aprofit warning.

On March 5th, the Camarillo, California-based company said weak demand forcommunications and data storage applications would hold results back. Thecompany originally thought it would earn 26 to 27 cents per share beforeextraordinary items, on revenue of $180 million to $190 million.

Vitesse was able to overcome signs of a slowdown in the last fiscal quarter.For the three months ended December 31st, the company reported revenue of$165.1 million, up 85 percent from a year earlier. Income before goodwilland deferred compensation rose to $47.6 million, or 25 cents per share, from$20.4 million, or 11 cents, even as some larger customers saw business slow,Vitesse said.

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