Texas Instruments is widely regarded as a bellwether for the technology industry and the economy.
So investors were likely disappointed after TI's management failed to call a bottom for the current semiconductor downturn.
After the market closed Tuesday, the company provided a revenue forecast for the March quarter that was below expectations, citing softening demand for its chips and higher cancellations for orders.
Its shares fluctuated in after-hours trading.
For the December quarter, the semiconductor company reported earnings per share of $2.13, including an 11-cent benefit not in prior guidance, compared with Wall Street's consensus estimate of $1.98, according to FactSet. Revenue came in at $4.67 billion, which was slightly above analysts' expectations of $4.61 billion.
The company didn't specify the items in the 11-cent benefit on a conference call held to discuss the results with analysts and investors.
Texas Instruments (ticker: TXN) said revenue for the current quarter will be between $4.17 billion and $4.53 billion, a range whose midpoint is below Wall Street's consensus call of $4.41 billion.
"As we expected, our results reflect weaker demand in all end markets with the exception of automotive," CEO Rich Templeton said in a news release.
Texas Instruments shares fell as much as 2% initially following the release, but later rose to roughly break even.
On the call, management said it saw higher order cancellations during the December quarter. They also expect TI's customers to continue to reduce inventory levels in the current quarter.
The chip maker sells basic building-block chips that go into products in nearly every sector of the economy, from autos and industrials to consumer electronics. Because of the broad-based nature of the company's more than100,000 customers, investors consider what happens to Texas Instruments to be a solid indicator of what is happening elsewhere/
Over the past year, Texas Instruments has performed better than other chip makers. Its shares are roughly flat for the past 12 months, compared with the 16% drop for the iShares Semiconductor exchange-traded fund (SOXX), which tracks the performance of the ICE Semiconductor Index.