Chipmaker Intersil ( ISIL) beat the Street's fourth-quarter earnings estimates but issued softer guidance than the Street sought. The Milpitas, Calif.-based company said on Wednesday that it earned $38.8 million, or 28 cents a share, in the quarter compared with $28.7 million, or 20 cents a share, a year ago. Adjusted for items, earnings were $48.2 million, or 34 cents a share, compared with $39.3 million, or 27 cents, last year. That bests the forecast of analysts surveyed by Thomson First Call who were expecting earnings of 32 cents a share in the most recent quarter. Fourth-quarter revenue rose 3% from a year ago to $181.1 million but came up short of analysts' expectations of $185 million. For the fourth quarter ended Dec 31, non-GAAP gross margins were 58.2%. This compares with gross margins of 56.6% for the same quarter last year. Rich Beyer, Intersil's chief executive officer, said that "high-end consumer and computing revenues are expected to be sequentially down due mainly to seasonality," and offered a forecast that was short of analysts' expectations. For the coming quarter, the company, which makes analog chips for everything from DVD players to medical-imaging equipment, expects to earn 21 cents to 23 cents a share on revenue in the range of $162 million to $168 million.