FILE PHOTO: A Xilinx sign is seen during the China International Import Expo (CIIE), at the National Exhibition and Convention Center in Shanghai, China November 6, 2018. REUTERS/Aly Song

(Reuters) – Xilinx Inc (XLNX.O) on Wednesday forecast first-quarter revenue below estimates and refrained from providing an annual outlook, citing the uncertainty caused by the coronavirus outbreak.    The pandemic has ripped through the semiconductor industry, with lockdown orders interrupting operations and supply chains, even though many plants were eventually allowed to remain open.    Xilinx shares, which closed 5% higher on Wednesday, shed most of those gains in extended trading.    “There remains a high degree of uncertainty in the global business environment given the impact of COVID-19 which creates challenges with visibility beyond the near term,” Chief Executive Officer Victor Peng said.    Xilinx plans to be more conservative with buyback activity as it focuses on preserving capital and improving its liquidity position, Peng said on a call with analysts.    The company started seeing coronavirus-related demand weakness halfway through the quarter, with its automotive business impacted the most as car sales declined significantly in China and globally, Peng said.    The San Jose, California-based firm, which also makes chips that are used in 5G telecommunications base stations, has been prevented by U.S. authorities from shipping some products to Huawei Technologies Co Ltd [HWT.UL].    Xilinx said it expects first-quarter revenue between $660 million and $720 million, below analysts’ average estimate of $738.8 million, according to IBES data from Refinitiv. The company posted revenue of $849.6 million in the same period last year.

Reporting by Munsif Vengattil in Bengaluru and Stephen Nellis in San Francisco; Editing by Devika Syamnath

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