Qualcomm surges on strong sales, smartphones

Qualcomm (NASDAQ:QCOM) reported record revenues in its fiscal first quarter and the chipmaker upped its forecast for the fiscal year due in large part to the growth in the smartphone market.

The company, the world's largest maker of cell phone chips, posted a net profit of $1.17 billion in the quarter, up 39 percent from $841 million in the year-ago quarter. Qualcomm, which collects most of its profit from licensing CDMA technology, said revenue totalled $3.35 billion, up 25 percent from the year-ago quarter. Qualcomm shipped a record 118 million CDMA-based Mobile Station Modem chipsets in the quarter, up 28 percent year-over-year and up 6 percent sequentially.

Steve Mollenkopf, Qualcomm's executive vice president and general manager of CDMA Technologies, said on the company's earnings conference call that Qualcomm currently has more than 150 Snapdragon devices in development, including more than 20 tablets, and that there are 60 devices slated to use its new dual-core processors. The company is working to maintain its lead in the application processor market in the face of advances from firms like Nvidia, Intel and Broadcom.

The rosy financial news for Qualcomm appears set to continue as well. Qualcomm significantly increased its fiscal 2011 revenue forecast to between $13.6 billion and $14.2 billion, up from a previous estimated range of $12.4 billion to $13 billion. Qualcomm also said earlier this month that it will buy WiFi chipmaker Atheros for $3.1 billion. The deal, which is expected to close sometime in the first half of the year, will allow Qualcomm to diversify its core product offerings.

For more:
- see this release
- see this WSJ article (sub. req.)
- see this Bloomberg article
- see this Reuters article
- see this Engadget post
- see this FierceWireless Q4 earnings page

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Qualcomm to buy WiFi chip giant Atheros for $3.1B
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Correction, Jan. 27, 2011: Due to a reporting error, this article incorrectly stated that Qualcomm derives most of its revenue from licensing; it gets most of its profit from licensing.