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March 3 (Reuters) - Semiconductor maker Microchip Technology Inc (MCHP.O) raised the lower end of its fourth-quarter earnings forecast and boosted its net-sales outlook for the quarter, sending its shares up 3 percent.
Excluding stock-based compensation expense, Microchip expects earnings of 40 cents to 42 cents a share, compared with a prior forecast of 39 cents to 42 cents a share.
The company anticipates net sales to be flat to up 4 percent sequentially, compared with a fall of 2 percent to 4 percent it forecast earlier.
Analysts expect earnings of 37 cents a share, excluding exceptional items, on revenue of $254.6 million, according to Reuters Estimates.
Shares of the company rose to $31.70 in early morning trade Monday on Nasdaq. (Reporting by John Tilak in Bangalore; Editing by Pratish Narayanan)