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IRVINE, Calif. (





may not have the profile of processor giant


(INTC) - Get Free Report

, but the chipmaker is touted as an attractive stock for investors despite the sluggish

tech recovery


With the economy still struggling to rebound from the recession, Broadcom swung to a profit and beat both its own and Wall Street's estimates in its

fourth-quarter results

, which were released after market close on Wednesday.

Clearly reaping the benefit of improving demand for its chips, the Orange County, Calif., firm is now getting plenty of analyst love.

"Broadcom remains our top large-cap pick as it is well positioned for revenue growth in 2010 and beyond driving improved profitability," wrote Adam Benjamin, an analyst at Jefferies & Company, in a note released on Thursday.

Broadcom's shares largely avoided the broader selloff that hit tech stocks. The company's stock was down just 8 cents, or 0.29%, to $27.81, compared to the Nasdaq's decline of 2.28%.

Although currently trading below $28, Jefferies has a $40 price target on Broadcom's shares and rates the stock as a buy.

Jefferies increased its fiscal 2010 earnings estimate for Broadcom from $1.85 to $2.06 and introduced a 2011 estimate of $2.18, well above consensus. Analysts surveyed by Thomson Reuters are predicting earnings of $1.69 for fiscal 2010 and $1.88 for 2011.

Goldman also raised its Broadcom


, citing higher sales and a return in gross margins.

The company's broadband and enterprise businesses were up 14% and 18% during the fourth quarter, fuelling much of the analyst optimism. Speaking during a conference call late Wednesday, Broadcom CEO

Scott McGregor

explained that this offset an anticipated seasonal decline in Broadcom's mobile and wireless businesses.

In addition to strong demand from customers in Asia, Broadcom also experienced a better-than-expected holiday season, according to the Broadcom chief, who said that the firm is testing a range of new 10-Gigabit Ethernet products.

Broadcom, which competes with


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Texas Instruments

(TXN) - Get Free Report

, announced the acquisition of 10-Gigabit broadband specialist


for $123 million on Thursday, boosting its ability to challenge



. In a separate statement released after market close, the firm also confirmed its first-ever quarterly dividend.

Moving forward, Broadcom gave better-than-expected first-quarter sales guidance of between $1.34 billion and $1.41 billion.


This is better than seasonal trends and is driven by strength in wireless, which is usually down in the first quarter," said Daniel Amir, senior research analyst at Lazard Capital Markets, in a note. The analyst firm, which rates Broadcom a 'Buy' raised its price target to $36 from $34.

-- Reported by James Rogers in New York

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