Taiwan's HTC Corp <2498.TW>, the world's No.4 smartphone brand, said fourth-quarter net profit more than doubled after consumers lapped up smartphones running on Google Inc's Android operating system.

Unaudited net profit was T$14.6 billion ($500 million) for October-December, the company said on Thursday in a statement, without giving an explanation. The profit was sharply higher than T$5.53 billion the same period a year earlier and was largely in line with market expectations.

It said December sales more than doubled to T$33.54 billion from T$14.07 billion a year earlier.

The smartphone maker said unaudited net income for the year was T$39.33 billion, up 74.9 percent from 2009.

The results show room for 2011 upward revision for analysts, said Yuanta Securities analyst Bonnie Chang.

Chang said HTC's operating margin, which was 1.4 percentage points higher than market consensus, had surprised the market.

She expected the company to give a better-than-seasonal guidance of a 10 percent year-on-year decline in revenue for first quarter of this year.

HTC shares closed up 1.23 percent on Thursday, outperforming the main TAIEX's <.TWII> 0.42 percent rise, after AT&T Inc announced a plan to sell the Taiwanese company's Android handsets in the first quarter.

Investors have bought into the company's bright earnings prospects, pushing the stock to an all-time high earlier this week. The stock climbed 160 percent in 2010, versus the TAIEX's 9.6 percent gain.

Before the results, analysts had forecast HTC to report a net profit of T$56.4 billion for 2011, according to a consensus forecast by Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

($1=29.23 Taiwan dollar)

(Reporting by Clare Jim; Editing by Chris Lewis)