Toshiba Q4 oper profit slips after quake stalls sales

TOKYO (Reuters) - Toshiba Corp <6502.T>, Japan's largest chipmaker, reported a 10 percent fall in fourth-quarter operating profit after the March earthquake and tsunami stalled operations at some of its suppliers, prompting clients to look elsewhere.

Toshiba said its operating profit was 98.0 billion yen ($1,2 billion) in January-March, down from 104.3 billion yen a year earlier. The result, which was flagged last month, was in line with market estimates.

The maker of nuclear reactors and supplier to Tokyo Electric Power Co <9501.T> said its net profit doubled to 97.7 billion yen on sales of real estate.

Toshiba said it expects to earn an operating profit in the year that started on April 1 of 300 billion yen, which compares with the 298.3 billion yen Thomson Reuters Starmine SmartEstimate, which places more weight on recent forecasts by top-ranked analysts.

One of its big clients, LG Electronics <066570.KS>, which previously sourced more than half its chips for home appliances from Toshiba, is buying more from rivals such as Hynix Semiconductor <000660.KS> and Panasonic Corp <6752.T>, following the quake. ($1 = 80.630 Japanese Yen)

(Reporting by Mayumi Negishi; Editing by Muralikumar Anantharaman)