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Qualcomm talks big game, aims for higher sales targets

Posted: 04 Feb 2013 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:fabless? mobile station modem? CDMA licensees? 4G products?

After reporting record quarterly sales and profit that exceeded analysts' expectations, fabless chip maker Qualcomm Inc. recently raised its sales target for the fiscal year.

Qualcomm reported record quarterly sales of $6.02 billion, up 24 per cent from the previous quarter and up 29 per cent compared with the year ago quarter. The company reported a net income for the quarter of $2.2 billion, or $1.26 per diluted share, up 42 per cent from the previous quarter and up 32 per cent from the previous quarter.

The firm's quarter was boosted by better than expected chip sales and licensing revenue, said Paul Jacobs, Qualcomm's chairman and CEO, speaking to analysts following the quarterly report. "We are obviously off to an excellent start in fiscal 2013," Jacobs said.

"We've completed a record quarter at Qualcomm and we are pleased to be increasing our fiscal 2013 guidance," Jacobs said. "We are continuing to execute against our strategic priorities and we look forward to addressing the growing set of opportunities ahead."

"Qualcomm's 2012 financial results led all peers in growth and profitability, and shares look inexpensive," said Craig Berger, an analyst with FBR Capital Markets, in a report circulated Thursday.

Berger maintains an "outperform rating" and $79 price target on Qualcomm's stock. The stock price closed at $63.53 Wednesday, prior to the quarterly report.

Qualcomm reported better than expected shipments of chips in both developed countries and emerging regions, particularly in China. The company estimated that it sold between 233 million and 237 million 3G/4G chips at an average selling price of $224 to $230 per unit.

The company reported record shipments of mobile station modem (MSM) chips in the quarter. The firm said it shipped 182 million MSMS chips, up 29 per cent sequentially and 17 per cent year-over-year.

Jacobs said Qualcomm now has more than 225 CDMA licensees. "We continue to invest and innovate across a broad set of technologies and believe that our patent portfolio applicable to 3G and 4G products is the most widely licensed in the industry," Jacobs said.

For the current quarter, Qualcomm said it expects sales to be between $5.8 billion and $6.3 billion, which would represent a year-over-year increase of 17 to 27 per cent. For its current fiscal year, which closes in September, Qualcomm raised its sales target by $400 million to between $23.4 billion and $24.4 billion, which would represent a sequential increase of 22 to 28 per cent.

Qualcomm also announced that Chief Financial Officer William Keitel would retire in March. He will be replaced by George S. Davis, currently chief financial officer at semiconductor equipment supplier Applied Materials Inc., effective March 11. Keitel, who has been Qualcomm's CFO for the past 11 years, will assist with the transition and then serve as a special adviser to Jacobs for the remainder of the year.

- Dylan McGrath
??EE Times

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