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Atmel Corporation (ATML - Analyst Report) reported a net loss of $12.3 million or 3 cents per share in fourth quarter 2012 compared to a net income of $32.9 million or 7 cents per share in the year-earlier quarter. The year-over-year decrease in earnings was primarily due to losses incurred on purchase commitments, restructuring activities, and write-off of receivables. Excluding one-time items, non-GAAP net income for the reported quarter was $29.4 million or 7 cents per share against $67.5 million or 14 cents per share in the year-ago quarter. The adjusted earnings for the reported quarter excelled the Zacks Consensus Estimate by 4 cents.

For full year 2012, the company reported a net income of $30.4 million or 7 cents per share compared to $315.0 million or 68 cents per share in the previous year. Excluding one-time items, non-GAAP net income for 2012 was $145.1 million or 32 cents per share versus $438.0 million or 92 cents per share in the prior year. The adjusted earnings for 2012 outpaced the Zacks Consensus Estimate of 18 cents.

The company reported net sales of $345.1 million in the fourth quarter of 2012, down 11.2% year over year. Net sales in the reported quarter, however, beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $341 million. For full year 2012, revenues of $1.4 billion declined 25.9% from $1.8 billion in 2011.

Balance Sheet and Cash Flows

The company ended the year with cash and cash equivalents of $293.4 million, down from $329.4 million at year-end 2011. Cash provided from operations totaled $78.7 million for the reported quarter versus $43.4 million in fourth quarter 2011. For full year 2012, operating cash flow exceeded $200 million.

Share Repurchase

The company bought back a total of 3.3 million shares at an average price of $4.87 each during the fourth quarter of 2012.

Moving Forward

The company expects to reap synergistic benefits from the acquisition of Ozmo, Inc., a leader in ultra-low power Wi-Fi solutions, in the upcoming quarters. Atmel is continuously upgrading its product portfolio to fuel growth and thwart intense competition and price wars from rivals such as Advanced Semiconductor Engineering Inc. (ASX - Snapshot Report), Diodes Incorporated (DIOD - Snapshot Report), and Rambus Inc. (RMBS - Snapshot Report), each carrying a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy). Atmel presently, however, carries a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).

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