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Qualcomm Soars on Strong Smartphone Demand (Update 1)

Updated from 4:17 p.m. ET to include comments from the conference call in the third and fourth paragraphs.

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Third-quarter earnings from Qualcomm (QCOM) blew past analysts' estimates, as smartphone demand across the globe continues to be exceptionally strong.

San Diego-based Qualcomm reported earnings of 89 cents a share on $4.87 billion in revenue during the fourth-quarter, up 18% year-over-year and 5% sequentially. Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters expected the chipmaker to earn 82 cents per share on $4.659 billion in revenue.

"I am very pleased with our performance this year. We delivered record revenues, earnings and MSM chipset shipments driven by increasing global consumption of wireless data across a diverse range of devices, particularly smartphones," said Qualcomm CEO Paul Jacobs, in a statement. "As we continue to invest in and execute on our strategic priorities, our broad licensing program and industry-leading Snapdragon and 3G/LTE chipset roadmap position us for double-digit revenue growth again in fiscal 2013."

A major concern going into the quarter -- Qualcomm's 28 nanometer supply -- improved during the quarter, Jacobs said during the conference call. The company also expects average selling price (ASP) to be between $214 and $226 going forward, a slight increase.

The company also said the "high end of the market is playing out pretty strongly," perhaps explaining why Apple (AAPL) iPhone 5 sales continue to be exceptionally robust.

Qualcomm ended the quarter and fiscal 2012 with $26.8 billion in cash and marketable securities, up from $20.9 billion a year ago and $26.5 billion at the end of the third quarter.

The company also provided first-quarter outlook. It expects revenue to be between $5.6 billion and $6.1 billion, with non-GAAP earnings between $1.08 and $1.16 per share.

Analysts surveyed by Thomson Reuters are looking for revenue of $5.295 billion and earnings of $1 a share.

Shares of Qualcomm lost 3.73% today to close at $58.12. Qualcomm is moving sharply higher in after-hours, gaining 8.22% to $62.90 according to Nasdaq.com.

Interested in more on Qualcomm? See TheStreet Ratings' report card for this stock.

--Written by Chris Ciaccia in New York

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