STMicroelectronics ( STM) posted a 30% gain in net income in the fourth quarter, meeting the Street's expectations. The Geneva-based chipmaker earned $187 million, or 20 cents a share, in its just-completed quarter, compared with $144 million, or 16 cents a share, in the year-earlier period. The company's sales rose 10% to $2.33 billion. Analysts polled by Thomson First Call were expecting the company to earn 20 cents a share. Earlier this month, STM
pre-announced its fourth-quarter revenue. STMicro expects its first-quarter revenue to range from $2.05 billion to $2.23 billion, representing a 4% to 12% decline from fourth-quarter sales. The company forecast a gross profit margin of 33% to 35% from sales for the quarter, compared to gross margin of 36.6% in the just-completed period. STMicro did not forecast its earnings per share. In the first quarter, the Wall Street consensus is for earnings of 13 cents a share on $2.18 billion in sales. Shares of STMicro closed regular trading up 50 cents, or 3.1%, to $16.72.