Broadcom (BRCM) said Thursday that its first-quarter profit plunged for the fourth consecutive period but topped Wall Street expectations, as moderately improved sales could not outpace higher expenses. 

The latest quarter for Broadcom, which provides chips for Apple’s (AAPL) new iPad and third-generation Apple TV, as well as Samsung’s Galaxy S II, Nexus and Galaxy Tab, bumped higher on strong demand for the iPad.

Apple last week handily beat estimates on a 94% jump in quarterly profit, lifting tech stocks across the board.

However, Broadcom, an Irvine, Calif.-based maker of chips for mobile devices, reported net income of $88 million, or 15 cents a share, compared with a year-earlier $228 million, or 42 cents.

That's partially a reflection of weak sales by Nokia (NOK) and other handset makers. 

Shaving off one-time items, Broadcom earned 65 cents, ahead of the 54 cents predicted by analysts in a Thomson Reuters poll.

Revenue for the three months ended March 31 was $1.83 billion, up from $1.82 billion a year ago, topping both the Street’s view and its internal expectations.

"Broadcom performed well in the first quarter, with revenue near the high end of the guided range and better-than-expected underlying profitability," Broadcom CEO Scott McGregor said in a statement.

The earnings were also boosted by the closure of its $3.7 billion acquisition of NetLogic Microsystems, which expands its footprint in network infrastructure, as well as the first commercial shipments of 5G WiFi shipments.

Broadcom anticipates sales for the second-quarter ending June 30 between $1.9 billion and $2 billion, bracketing the $1.97 billion expected by analysts.  

Rival Intel (INTC) last month reported a 13% decline in first-quarter profit but topped Wall Street expectations, as demand for PC chips started to ramp up.

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