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California and the West | EARNINGS ROUNDUP

Broadcom Profit Nearly Doubles

April 21, 2006|From Bloomberg News

Irvine-based Broadcom Corp., a maker of chips for consumer devices, said Thursday that first-quarter profit almost doubled on surging demand for television set-top boxes.

Net income was $134.9 million, or 22 cents a share, compared with $69.2 million, or 13 cents, a year earlier, when Broadcom wasn't required to expense stock options. Sales jumped 64% to $900.6 million.

The company is getting more revenue from each set-top box that contains Broadcom chips by bundling semiconductors together. The company's biggest customer, Motorola Inc., two days ago reported a 48% increase in digital set-top box shipments in the first quarter from the fourth quarter. Broadcom also makes chips used in Apple Computer Inc.'s iPod music player and in headsets for wireless phones.

Profit has exceeded analysts' estimates for 14 straight quarters. Excluding costs such as option expenses, profit was 36 cents, topping the 34-cent estimate of Credit Suisse's Michael Masdea, rated among the top chip analysts by Institutional Investor. Sales beat Masdea's $870-million forecast.

The earnings were released after the close of regular stock trading, during which Broadcom's stock fell 17 cents to $45.77. In after-hours trading, the shares jumped as much as $2.33, or 5.1%, to $48.10. With that gain, the stock is up 53% this year.

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