posted solid first-quarter numbers Thursday and said it believes its inventory worries are largely behind it.

For its first quarter ended March 31, the Irvine, Calif., communications chipmaker earned $69 million, or 19 cents a share, up from the year-ago $40 million, or 12 cents a share. On a pro forma basis excluding certain costs, latest-quarter earnings were 23 cents a share, a penny ahead of the Wall Street consensus estimate.

Revenue fell 4% from a year ago to $550 million, but the latest quarter's top line rose 2% sequentially and eased past the $539 million Thomson First Call estimate.

"We were pleased with our progress in the first quarter as revenue increased over the fourth quarter of 2004 and the company again generated strong cash flow from operations, leading to record levels of cash and marketable securities," said CEO Scott McGregor. "Our first quarter results highlight Broadcom's ability to profitably grow even in the midst of the challenging sales environment we have been facing recently. Looking forward, we are experiencing a strengthening in customer orders, leading us to believe that many of the customer inventory issues that affected our fourth and first quarter results are now behind us."

On Thursday, Broadcom closed at $29.45.