Qualcomm rides smartphone wave to higher profits

Qualcomm (NASDAQ:QCOM) continues to capitalize on the surging demand for smartphones, posting record quarterly revenues yet again in its fiscal second quarter. The chipmaker said that it had seen few disruptions as a result of the March 11 earthquake and tsunami in Japan.

Qualcomm posted net income of $999 million, up 29 percent from the $774 million it recorded in the year-ago period. The company's total revenue clocked in at $3.88 billion, up 46 percent from its $2.66 billion from the year-ago period. Qualcomm said its revenue totals included $401 million as a result of agreements with licensees to settle ongoing disputes, including an arbitration proceeding with Panasonic Mobile Communications. During the quarter, Qualcomm shipped 118 million CDMA-based Mobile Station Modem chipsets, up 27 percent year-over-year and flat sequentially.

Although Qualcomm's Snapdragon chipsets primarily have been used in smartphones, the company said it is also trying to focus on the growing tablet market. Steve Mollenkopf, Qualcomm's executive vice president and general manager of CDMA Technologies, said on the company's earnings conference call that Qualcomm's chips currently power eight tablet models, including ones from Hewlett-Packard, HTC and Acer, and that there are around 30 additional designs in process. Qualcomm missed out on the first range of tablets running the "Honeycomb" version of Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) Android platform; Nvidia's Tegra 2 chipset powers those devices. 

Qualcomm CEO Paul Jacobs said the company has not seen any major impact as a result of the disaster in Japan. "Preliminary indications are that demand has held up fairly well, similar to what we have seen in other past events of this nature," he said, according to a SeekingAlpha transcript. "So although there is some uncertainty, we do not foresee any significant impact on the overall demand profile for wireless devices."

For more:
- see this release
- see this Bloomberg article
- see this this WSJ article (sub. req.)
- see this SeekingAlpha transcript
- see this FierceWireless Q1 earnings special report

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