Altera Corp Fourth Quarter Earnings Sneak Peek

S&P 500 (NYSE:SPY) component Altera Corp (NASDAQ:ALTR) will unveil its latest earnings on Tuesday, January 24, 2012. Altera designs and manufactures programmable logic devices, HardCopy ASIC devices, pre-defined design building blocks, cores, and associated development tools.

Altera Corp Earnings Preview Cheat Sheet.

Wall St. Earnings Expectations: The average estimate of analysts is for profit of 41 cents per share, a decline of 43.1% from the company’s actual earnings for the same quarter a year ago. During the past three months, the average estimate has moved down from 58 cents. Between one and three months ago, the average estimate moved down. It has been unchanged at 41 cents during the last month. Analysts are projecting profit to rise by 6.8% versus last year to $2.32.

Past Earnings Performance: Last quarter, the company missed estimates by 2 cents, coming in at net income of 57 cents per share versus a mean estimate of profit of 59 cents per share. In the second quarter, the company beat estimates by one cent.

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Wall St. Revenue Expectations: Analysts are projecting a decline of 19.4% in revenue from the year-earlier quarter to $447.5 million.

Analyst Ratings: 14 out of 22 analysts surveyed (63.6%) have a buy rating on Altera.. This is below the mean analyst rating of 10 competitors, which average 69.7% buy ratings.

A Look Back: In the third quarter, profit fell 14.8% to $185.4 million (57 cents a share) from $217.5 million (69 cents a share) the year earlier, missing analyst expectations. Revenue fell 0.9% to $522.5 million from $527.5 million.

Key Stats:

A year-over-year revenue decrease in the third quarter snapped a streak of three consecutive quarters of revenue increases. Revenue rose 16.9%in the second quarter, 33.2% in the first quarter and 52.2% in the fourth quarter of the last fiscal year.

The decrease in profit in the third quarter broke a streak of three consecutive quarters of year-over-year profit increases. Net income rose 18.8% in the second quarter, 46.3% in the first quarter and more than twofold in the fourth quarter of the last fiscal year.

Competitors to Watch: Lattice Semiconductor (NASDAQ:LSCC), Xilinx, Inc. (NASDAQ:XLNX), QuickLogic Corporation (NASDAQ:QUIK), Texas Instruments Inc. (NYSE:TXN), Microsemi Corporation (NASDAQ:MSCC), Cypress Semicond. Corp. (NASDAQ:CY), ON Semiconductor Corp. (NASDAQ:ONNN), Broadcom Corporation (NASDAQ:BRCM), TranSwitch Corporation (NASDAQ:TXCC), and Aeroflex Holding Corp. (NYSE:ARX).

Stock Price Performance: During October 20, 2011 to January 18, 2012, the stock price had risen $7.76 (23.5%) from $32.96 to $40.72. The stock price saw one of its best stretches over the last year between October 3, 2011 and October 10, 2011 when shares rose for six-straight days, rising 11.5% (+$3.53) over that span. It saw one of its worst periods between September 15, 2011 and September 22, 2011 when shares fell for six-straight days, falling 8.9% (-$3.42) over that span.

(Company fundamentals by Xignite Financials. Earnings estimates provided by Zacks)

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