Analog Devices (NYSE:ADI) surged to a 52-week high Monday, but the shares slipped after revealing late Monday a soft first-quarter outlook. 

Higher sales and tighter expenses helped ADI achieve a stronger-than-expected fourth-quarter profit. 

The Norwood, Mass-based company posted net income of $224.99 million, or 73 cents a share, compared with $105.61 million, or 36 cents a share, in the same quarter last year, beating the Street’s view of 70 cents.

Revenue for the maker of analog, mixed-signal and digital signal processing integrated circuits was $770 million, up 35% from $571.6 million a year ago, ahead of average analyst estimates polled by Thomson Reuters of $755.81 million.

Earnings were cushioned by tighter expenses, only marginally higher at $230 million compared with the year-earlier period.

“The fourth quarter culminated a very strong year for ADI in which we achieved record revenue, profitability, and cash flow,” ADI CEO Jerald G. Fishman said in a statement.

“For fiscal year 2010, revenue increased 37% and earnings nearly tripled,” a reflection of a stronger market, and the company’s multi-year refocus on certain innovative products, he said.

Last quarter, ADI was able to increase its gross margin to 65.2%, compared with 55.5% in the same quarter last year, driven primarily by strong sales growth, lower manufacturing costs and increased factory utilization.

Customer end bookings were lower-than-expected, as customers began to lower their inventories in response to shortened industry lead times. Softer orders in August and September were offset by strong orders in October.

The company’s board of directors declared a quarterly cash dividend of 22 cents a share, to be paid on Dec. 22 to shareholders of record at the close of business on Dec. 3. The board has also authorized the repurchase of an additional $1 billion of common stock under ADI’s existing program.

Looking ahead, the company expects fiscal 2011 first-quarter earnings in the range 63 cents to 67 cents a share on revenue of $715 million to $740 million, which would be down 4% to 7% sequentially.

“Overall, customer feedback indicates that end demand remains strong in most end markets,” Fishman said.