Fourth-quarter profit rose at Swiss chipmaker STMicroelectronics (STM), but the company said revenue would again decline sequentially.STMicro said it earned $276 million, or 30 cents a share, compared with $183 million, or 20 cents a share, a year earlier. Excluding items in the latest quarter, STMicro earned 21 cents a share, matching Thomson Financial estimates. "Looking at the fourth quarter and near-term environment, the current market correction underway in some of the key applications we serve is more pronounced than forecasted. Our wireless results, in particular, came in well below historical seasonal revenue patterns and were also negatively impacted by product mix shift towards the low end, which put additional pressure on our margins and operating performance in the quarter," said CEO Carlo Bozotti. Revenue rose 3.9% to $2.48 billion, missing analysts' consensus estimate of $2.56 billion. The top-line result marked a sequential decline of 1.2% from the third quarter. For the company's first quarter now underway, STMicro said it expects sales to decline sequentially by 3% to 11%, suggesting a top line of $2.2 billion to $2.4 billion. Thomson Financial was expecting revenue of $2.42 billion. That sales expectation, STMicro said, coupled with plans to control inventory levels, will hurt fab loading conditions in the quarter, leading to a first-quarter gross margin of about 35%, plus or minus one percentage point. The company had a gross margin of 36.3% in the just-reported quarter. Shares of STMicro were off 22 cents in after-hours trading to $18.21.