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Broadcom beats 4Q forecasts

Broadcom (Nasdaq: BRCM) easily topped analyst estimates in the fourth quarter.

After market close Monday, the maker of communications chips reported fourth quarter earnings of $36.9 million, or 31 cents per share. First Call's survey of 17 analysts predicted a profit of 27 cents per share for the quarter ended Dec. 31.

Also Monday, Broadcom announced a 2-for-1 stock split, effective Feb. 11 for shareholders of Jan. 31 record. Following the move -- the second stock split for the company since it went public in 1998 -- Broadcom expects to have 111 million class A shares outstanding, and 99 million class B shares, which aren't publicly traded but are convertible to class A.

Fourth quarter revenue rose to $160.8 million, a 116 percent gain from $74.6 million in the year ago period, when Broadcom earned $8 million, or 7 cents per share.

Excluding one-time costs, the company saw full-year earnings of $105.8 million, or 91 cents per share, on revenue of $518.2 million. Including non-recurring charges, Broadcom earned $83.3 million, or 72 cents per share, in 1999.

"Our fourth quarter capped another strong year of growth for Broadcom, as we ramped even more aggressively on deployment of our products into the marketplace and experienced the fruits of the five acquisitions we made during the year," said Henry T. Nicholas III, president and CEO of Broadcom.

In afterhours activity, shares of Broadcom fell from their price of 328 1/2 at Monday's close. The stock had soared 33 1/4 during the regular session, prior to the earnings announcement.>