FRANKFURT (Reuters) - STMicroelectronics capped its best year since 2010 with strong, broad-based revenue growth and rising margins during 2017, and the chipmaker expected solid auto and industrial demand to offset a seasonal smartphone dip in the first quarter.
Fourth-quarter net revenue rose nearly 33 percent from a year ago to $2.47 billion. The result swamped forecasts by analysts polled by Thomson Reuters for the quarter, which ranged between $2.35 billion to $2.36 billion.
Gross margin for the fourth quarter rose to 40.6 percent, above the midpoint of its previous guidance, but it cautioned that margins would decrease to levels around 39.5 percent during the current first quarter - plus or minus 2 percent.
STMicro said it expected net revenue to decrease 10 percent during the first quarter of 2018 from the fourth quarter last year (+/-3.5 pct). However, the current quarter revenue is set to rise around 22 percent from the year-ago first quarter.
(Reporting by Eric Auchard; Editing by Sudip Kar-Gupta)