Infineon hikes full year outlook, Japan remains risky

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FRANKFURT (Reuters) - Germany's Infineon raised its outlook for the full year after a strong second quarter and thanks to high order levels but cautioned that Japan remained a potential risk to supplies and production.

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In the fiscal year, that runs until the end of September, Infineon anticipates a 20 percent sales growth compared with around 15 percent previously and a full year operating margin broadly in line with 19.8 percent recorded for the first half, Infineon said in a statement on Tuesday.

It had earlier said operating margin would be in the high teen percentage range.

Unlike some of its rivals such as Texas Instruments, Infineon's production has so far not been hit by Japan's massive earthquake. Nevertheless, it did not rule out an impact on its production in the current quarter, adding problems with supplies and deliveries of raw materials could arise.

Infineon, which makes chips for products ranging from cars to electronic passports, reiterated revenue and operating margin in the current quarter will be on par with the second quarter.

In the first three months of 2011, Infineon's second quarter, operating profit was 202 million euros, up 14 percent compared with the previous quarter. Sales were up 8 percent.

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Infineon was spun off from engineering group Siemens more than a decade ago and last year chose to exit the mobile chip business by selling its wireless chip unit to Intel for $1.4 billion.

It now has three divisions: automotive, industrial & multimarket and chip card security.

Infineon stock trades at 14 times 12-month forward earnings, according to Thomson Reuters StarMine, which weights analysts' forecasts according to their track record.

By comparison, rival STMicroelectronics trades at 11.8 times 12-month forward earnings and Texas Instruments at 13.7 times.

(Reporting by Nicola Leske)

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