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Jan 24 (Reuters) - Semiconductor maker Microchip Technology Inc (MCHP.O) posted higher third-quarter results, helped by strength in its microcontrollers business, and forecast fourth-quarter earnings above analysts' view, sending shares up more than 6 percent in after-hours trade.
For the third quarter, the company posted net income of $80.1 million, or 38 cents a share, compared with $72.8 million, or 33 cents a share, a year ago. Excluding items, it earned 39 cents a share.
Net sales rose 0.6 percent to $252.6 million.
For the quarter, analysts on average were expecting earnings of 35 cents a share, before exceptional items, on revenue of $250.4 million, according to Reuters Estimates.
Revenue from its sixteen-bit microcontrollers more than doubled from a year ago, while flash microcontroller revenue rose 10 percent, the company said.
The company also increased its dividend by 3.2 percent sequentially to 32 cents per share.
Shares of the company were trading at $31 in after-hours trading, after closing at $29.13 Thursday on the Nasdaq. They had fallen more than 31 percent since April 2007.
Looking ahead, the Chandler, Arizona-based company expects fourth-quarter earnings of about 35 cents to 38 cents a share. Excluding items, it sees earnings of about 39 cents to 42 cents.
It sees net sales for the quarter to be down 2 percent to up 4 percent sequentially.
Analysts were expecting earnings of 36 cents a share, before exceptional items, on revenue of $253.3 million. (Reporting by Purwa Naveen Raman in Bangalore; Editing by Deepak Kannan)