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NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Semiconductor giant Broadcomundefinedreported fourth-quarter revenue and earnings that topped analysts' estimates on Thursday. Guidance met expectations. 

After a strong 2014 that saw the company's stock climb more than 40%, investors wanted confirmation that Broadcom's momentum can continue. The outlook fell short of that. Investors want to know if they should hold the stock for the long term or protect their profits. And Broadcom's guidance didn't make that decision easier.

Broadcom stock is up 4.5% in midday trading Friday, to $43.18.

For the quarter ending in December, the company said it earned a net income of $390 million, or 64 cents per share. That's a jump of 132% year over year, from $168 million, or 29 cents per share, in the fourth quarter of 2013. When taking out one-time gains and costs, Broadcom earned 90 cents per share on an adjusted basis, topping analysts' estimates of 87 cents per share.

The Irvine, Calif.-based communications chipmaker said it generated stronger-than-expected connectivity revenue in its high-end smartphone and broadband access markets. Broadcom competes withQualcomm (QCOM) - Get Qualcomm Inc Report and Intel (INTC) - Get Intel Corporation Report .

Fourth quarter revenue was $2.14 billion, up 4% year over year, from $2.06 billion a year ago and enough to beat estimates of $2.12 billion. For the year, the company reported profit of $652 million, or $1.08 per share, while full-year revenue was reported as $8.43 billion.

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President and CEO Scott McGregor said in a press release, “2014 was a pivotal year where we focused on our core businesses, delivered record revenue and non-GAAP profitability, increased capital return and enhanced corporate governance.”

For the current quarter, the company expects revenue to be in the range of $1.93 billion to $2.08 billion, consistent with analysts' estimates of $2 billion.

While Broadcom shares stumbled out of the gate in 2015 -- down 4.66% before Friday's rally, which brought year-to-date losses to 0.4% -- expectations are still high.  The trailing price-to-earnings ratio of 56 shows that enthusiasm. That multiple almost triples the average P/E of companies in the S&P 500 (SPY) - Get SPDR S&P 500 ETF Trust Report .

By contrast, other chip stocks like Intel, Qualcomm, and Texas Instruments (TXN) - Get Texas Instruments Incorporated Report have P/Es of 14, 14 and 23, respectively. Qualcomm is projected to grow earnings at a 15% annual rate over the next five years -- three percentage points higher than Broadcom's projected growth rate of 12%, according to CNN Money.

Broadcom's guidance didn't imply that it will outperform its peers, which have more attractive valuations and may grow earnings at similar or higher rates.

Investors should trim some of those 2014 gains now and buy Broadcom stock back on any pullback in the quarters ahead.

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This article is commentary by an independent contributor. At the time of publication, the author held no position in the stocks mentioned.