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January 07, 1998

San Jose-based Atmel Corp. said it expects to report a loss in the fourth quarter because some of the semiconductor maker's customers in Asia are unable to get financing for purchases. The specialty-chip maker, which expected to earn 34 cents a share in the fourth quarter, said it will take a charge of about $160 million to write down the value of products in inventory and consolidate some of its manufacturing operations in France. Atmel is the latest of many technology companies to warn investors that earnings will fall short of expectations because of problems in Asia, where a financial crisis has slowed economic growth and made banks wary of lending to local companies.

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