Analyst Douglas Lee cut the $0.85 fiscal 2002 (March.) EPS estimate to $0.72, and reduced the $1.01 fiscal 2003 estimate to $0.96. Microchip expects total revenue to decline a further 10% sequentially in Q1. He notes demand remains weakest in the EEPROM business (20% of sales), where excess inventories and pricing pressure should continue in the near term. The company's core microcontroller business (72% of revenues) appears to be faring better, and it's expected to be down less than the company average in Q1.
Lee says visibility remains poor, but order cancellations and push-out rates have been decelerating as of late. He maintains the market performer rating.