Image source: Broadcom.

Broadcom (UNKNOWN:BRCM.DL) posted a mild earnings surprise in the fourth quarter alongside a 9% dividend boost, triggering a positive uptick in share prices after Thursday's closing bell.

Analysts expected the fabless designer of communications microchips to report non-GAAP earnings of $0.57 per share on $2.0 billion in revenue. Broadcom delivered adjusted net income of $0.60 per share on $2.1 billion of net sales, besting the Street targets in both cases.

Management set first-quarter revenue guidance in line with analyst targets, near $2 billion again. Gross margins are expected to decline slightly, along typical seasonal patterns.

Looking further ahead, Broadcom CEO Scott McGregor has a couple of potential growth catalysts up his sleeve. "We are building momentum in LTE, setting the stage for Ultra HD and powering next generation service provider and data center networks," he said in the earnings release.

In layman's terms, that's a triple play on high-speed wireless networking, the next version of high-quality digital video signals, and faster wired networking equipment for the biggest data traffic handlers on the planet.

Broadcom shares jumped as much as 6% higher on the news before falling back to a more modest 0.5% gain at the closing of after-hours trading.