Broadcom ( BRCM) hit its lowered targets for the fourth quarter ended last month, sending shares up slightly.Excluding one-time items, the Irvine, Calif., communications-chip maker posted earnings of $80.7 million, or 23 cents a share, on sales of $539 million. Those numbers compare with a 36-cent profit on $646 million in revenue in the third quarter, and earnings of $61.3 million, or 19 cents a share, on $479 million in sales for the year-ago period. Analysts were looking for a fourth-quarter profit of 22 cents on $538 million in sales, according to Thomson First Call. Broadcom, which closed regular trading up 54 cents at $32.37, rose 13 cents to $32.50 in the postclose session. Last month, Broadcom reiterated that sales would fall as much as 18% from third-quarter levels. "As discussed previously, our fourth quarter results were negatively impacted by the industrywide inventory correction that affected all of Broadcom's business groups," CEO Scott McGregor said in a press release Thursday. On a GAAP basis, net income for the fourth quarter was 20 cents a share, compared with 2 cents in the same period last year. Wall Street will be awaiting the company's first-quarter forecast on a postclose conference call. Looking ahead, analysts expect first-quarter earnings of 23 cents a share on $550 million, or 2% sales growth.