Ahead of the Bell: Silicon Laboratories downgraded

AP News
Posted: Jan 04, 2010 9:04 AM

Silicon Laboratories Inc. shares are fairly valued after a recent climb, Kaufman Bros. said Monday, downgrading the stock.

Kaufman analyst Suji De Silva cut the communications chip designer to "Hold" from "Buy."

After hitting a 52-week low of $20.40 last March, Silicon's stock has more than doubled. Shares slipped 4 cents to $48.34 in premarket trading Monday.

In a note to investors, De Silva said he still expects the company's fourth-quarter earnings to meet expectations.

He projects earnings of 62 cents per share on sales of $126.5 million. On average, analysts expect 62 cents on $127.4 million, according to Thomson Reuters.

De Silva said recent checks show Silicon, which is based in Austin, Texas, is being helped by slimmer chip inventories at South Korean handset makers and better-than-expected consumer demand for electronics in Asia.