* STM net profit above expectations
* Company sees sequential growth in December quarter
* STM appoints new chief operating officer
(Adds detail on new COO, background on chip demand)
SAN FRANCISCO, Oct 26 European chipmaker
STMicroelectronics (STM.PA) reported a higher-than-expected net
profit in the third quarter and said sales would expand in the
final three months of the year.
STM's results follow recent upbeat earnings reports from
Intel (INTC.O) and Dutch chip maker ASML (ASML.AS), which
raised investor hopes that the technology sector could end the
year on a strong note. [ID:nN11136922] [ID:nLDE69B179]
STM, which makes chips for cars, computers, telephones and
other consumer products, said sales in the final quarter of
2010 would likely rise between 2 percent and 7 percent
"Even though in the third quarter the level of bookings in
certain market applications softened from the very high levels
in prior periods, we are encouraged by the level of our backlog
in the fourth quarter," said Chief Executive Carlo Bozotti.
After strong sales in early 2010, chipmakers have wrestled
in recent months with tepid demand and some have warned that
growth in the last quarter will be less than in normal holiday
Global semiconductor sales could grow just 5 percent next
year as the U.S. economy continues to struggle, according to
market research firm iSuppli.
STM's sales in the third quarter were led by China and grew
across all market segments except telecommunications.
Net profit was $198 million, compared with a net loss of
$201 million a year ago and above analysts' expectations of
around $183 million, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
STM also said it appointed Didier Lamouche as chief
operating officer, replacing Alain Dutheil, who is retiring.
STM's revenue in the quarter were $2.66 billion, up 16.8
percent over last year and in line with analysts' expectations
of around $2.67 billion.
(Reporting by Noel Randewich; Editing by Robert MacMillan and