TAIPEI Jan 24 Taiwan's United Microelectronics Corp, the world No.3 contract chipmaker, reported a worse-than-expected fourth-quarter net profit on Friday as electronics companies reined in new orders to clear their inventories.
UMC reported a net profit of T$749 million ($24.79 million) in the quarter, lagging a median forecast of T$848.7 million from 16 analysts polled by Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
The figures compared to a net profit of T$1.08 billion a year earlier and T$3.48 billion in the previous quarter.
"For the first quarter, we anticipate softer business due to normal early-year seasonality," UMC chief executive Po-Wen Yen said in a statement.
($1 = 30.2125 Taiwan dollars)
(Reporting by Clare Jim; Editing by)