Texas Instruments reports earnings and sees a turn for the chip business

Chip giant Texas Instruments (TXN) may finally be seeing a lasting turnaround in the fortunes of the ailing semiconductor industry. After several quarters of merely getting worse more slowly, end demand for its customers' products is finally rekindling, the company said on a conference call for investors.

On Monday, TI reported third-quarter profits and sales that topped Wall Street estimates while boosting its outlook for the coming quarter. The company said it earned $538 million, or 42 cents per share, during the quarter, down four percent from $563 million, or 43 cents a share, a year earlier. Sales fell 15 percent to $2.88 billion amid the economic downturn, compared with $3.39 billion in 2008.