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Broadcom pays $12m to settle options backdating charges

By Scott Moritz, writer

Broadcom (BRCM) will pay $12 million to settle federal charges of stock option backdating and, in an unrelated but hotly-anticipated development, the communications chipmaker posted solid first quarter results.

The Irvine, Calif. semiconductor shop posted a profit of $74.3 million or 14 cents a share for the quarter ended  March 31. Those numbers compare with $90 million or 16 cents a share in the prior quarter and a dime in the year-ago period.

Sales for the first quarer were $1.03 billion, nearly flat with the prior quarter but 14% above last year’s level.

Analysts were looking for sales of $992 million.

Broadcom didn’t provide immediate detailed financial guidance, but said it saw strong sales trends in the current quarter.

“While we remain cautious on the macroeconomic front, based on strong ordering trends from our customers throughout the first quarter, we expect solid revenue growth for the second quarter within each of our three major target markets,” CEO Scott McGregor said in a press release.

The company also settled Security and Exchange Commission charges that it falsified income accounting by backdating employee stock options. The $12 million payment comes more than a year after the company took a $2.2 billion charge to account for 234 million backdated stock options.

Broadcom shares were up $1.36, or 6%, to $24.91 in after-hours trading Tuesday.