May 27, 2010 / 8:57 PM / 8 years ago

UPDATE 1-Zarlink posts bigger profit, stronger sales

* Q4 EPS $0.05 vs $0.41 loss year earlier

* Analysts forecast EPS $0.04

* Revenue up 15 pct at $58.5 million

* Sees Q1 EPS $0.07-$0.09, rev $57 mln-$58.5 mln (In U.S. dollars unless noted)

OTTAWA, May 27 (Reuters) - Zarlink Semiconductor Inc ZL.TO posted bigger than forecast sales and earnings on Thursday, and said revenue would grow between 3 percent and 5 percent in the upcoming first quarter.

The Ottawa-based company said it earned $6.8 million, or 5 cents a share, in its fourth quarter, versus a net loss of $50 million, or 41 Canadian cents a share, a year ago, when it took a $46.9 million goodwill impairment charge.

Profit in the most recent quarter was lifted by cost-cutting and efficiency, Zarlink said, but hurt by a foreign exchange loss of $1.2 million

Revenue rose 15 percent to $58.5 million while its gross margin was 53 percent.

The company had forecast sales of $56 million to $58 million and earnings per share between 2 cents and 4 cents, excluding foreign exchange. Analysts, on average, had expected earnings of 4 cents a share and revenue of $57 million, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

The company said it expects first-quarter sales of $57 million to $58.5 million, gross margins of between 50 percent and 51 percent, and earnings per share ranging from 7 cents to 9 cents, excluding items.

Earlier this month, Zarlink said it sold its optical product group to Swiss-based Tyco Electronics (TEL.N) for about $15 million in cash. The Canadian company has been sharpening its focus to target markets in network timing, implanted medical device and line circuit chips.

$1=$1.05 Canadian Reporting by Susan Taylor; editing by Rob Wilson

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