DALLAS (AP) _ Texas Instruments Inc. reported a sharp increase in first-quarter profit on Tuesday, beating Wall Street expectations amid strong demand for microprocessors used as the brainpower for cellular phones, computer modems and other electronic products.

The Dallas-based chip company earned $233 million, or 58 cents a share, in the three months ended March 31. That was up from a profit of $11 million, or 3 cents a diluted share, in the year-ago quarter, when results were hurt by one-time charges.

Revenue fell to $2.04 billion from $2.19 billion due to the company's sale of its slumping memory chip business to Micron Technologies last year.

Excluding a $41 million one-time charge in 1999's first quarter, Texas Instruments would have earned 65 cents a share, beating the 61 cents forecast by Wall Street analysts surveyed by First Call.

Despite beating expectations, the company's stock was down 4 percent in early afternoon trading, falling $4.56 1/4 to $100.43 3/4 on the New York Stock Exchange.

Texas Instruments chief executive Tom Engibous said the company expects further growth in semiconductor sales in the second quarter. The company aims to boost sales of digital signal processors, the specialized chips used as brains in telecommunications equipment, and processors that run computer hard disk drives.

Higher revenues also are expected from chips used in calculators sold during the back-to-school season.