Updated from 5:01 p.m. EST

SAN FRANCISCO -- You sort of saw this one coming.



offered no immediate help to the languishing semiconductor sector Thursday, as the company swung to a fourth-quarter loss and announced that first-quarter revenue will come in well below current Wall Street estimates.

The news follows a similarly

glum report

late Wednesday from fellow communications chipmaker


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, which cut its estimates for fiscal 2009.

Shares of Broadcom, which fell nearly 5% in the regular session due largely to Qualcomm's report, were off another 4.5% in after-hours trading to $16.65.

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"As we look into the first quarter of 2009, we believe the current economic slowdown will continue to negatively impact our business as demand continues to decrease and settle into new levels and channel inventory adjusts accordingly," said Broadcom President and CEO Scott A. McGregor in a press release.

As a result, the Irvine, Calif.-based company said it would undergo further cost-cutting this quarter, including a delay in salary increases, job cuts and a variety of other "belt-tightening actions on discretionary spending."

Broadcom didn't immediately announce how many of its nearly 7,000 employees would be let go.

The company expects first-quarter revenue of $800 million to $875 million, below analysts' consensus projection of $950 million.

Broadcom also projected first-quarter gross margin of about 49%. Wall Street was hoping for nearly 51%.

The completed fourth quarter wasn't particularly pretty, either. Broadcom wrote down $169.4 million related to the goodwill and assets of its mobile platforms business group, and posted a charge of $31.5 million related to an earlier purchase of

Advanced Micro Devices'

(AMD) - Get Advanced Micro Devices, Inc. Report

digital TV business.

The charges brought a 40-cent-a-share hit to the bottom line: The company wound up losing $159 million, or 32 cents a share. A year earlier, the company earned $90 million, or 16 cents a share.

Analysts had been looking for a profit of 27 cents a share this quarter, excluding the charges.

Revenue climbed nearly 10% to $1.13 billion, slightly ahead of the company's lowered forecast from last month.