-- Updated from 8am with Qualcomm stock price.
Qualcomm has close to a lock on the so-called CDMA market, making Qualcomm's chips one of the key components in the Verizon iPhone.
Knowing how small the universe of Apple iPhone suppliers happens to be, a win by Qualcomm offers a rare opportunity for investors to get involved with the action.An early sign that Apple orders are in the pipeline could come Wednesday when Qualcomm reports fiscal fourth-quarter earnings after the bell. While there won't be any impact of Verizon iPhone supplies in the reported numbers, the outlook may hold some clues. "I do expect the initial production of the CDMA iPhone, which begins in December, to inform Qualcomm's guidance for next quarter," says Charter Equity Research analyst Ed Snyder. Analysts are expecting Qualcomm to deliver earnings of 59 cents a share on sales of $2.85 billion in the September quarter. Looking ahead, the consensus estimates call for adjusted profit of 64 cents on $2.99 billion in sales. For the fiscal year 2011, analysts are looking for total sales of $12.08 billion or 11% growth over 2010 levels, according to Yahoo! Finance. Apple could push some of those numbers up for Qualcomm, but it's not all gain. Big Qualcomm partners like Motorola (MOT) and HTC will likely see sales cool at Verizon with the arrival of the iPhone, so there will be some offsets. Qualcomm shares, which are up 17% in the past three months as the smartphone picture brightens to Apple-colored hues, was up a nickel to $45.42 in late day trading Wednesday prior to the earnings release. --Written by Scott Moritz in New York.
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