Qualcomm Downgraded by Evercore After Stock's Strong Run

'While Qualcomm has had a good run, we now believe the lion’s share of the 5G smartphone upcycle is priced in,' say analysts at Evercore.
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Qualcomm  (QCOM) - Get Report shares fell Monday after Evercore ISI downgraded the semiconductor giant to in-line from outperform, cutting its share-price target to $150 from $195.

“While Qualcomm has had a good run, up 146% since before the Apple settlement and 59% since our addition to Top Picks in June 2020, we now believe the lion’s share of the 5G smartphone upcycle is priced into shares,” Evercore analyst C.J. Muse wrote in a commentary.

“Looking ahead, we point to a likely worsening competitive environment (MTEK primarily, but also Exynos and internal), AAPL sentiment turning from 5G design win to potential insourcing, slowing mmWave penetration, and likely rising foundry pricing that suggests risk/reward today is much more balanced.”

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Qualcomm recently traded at $138.95, down 1.15%. It’s still up 11% for the last six months.

“We recognize that while consensus estimates for the June quarter are too high, management will likely guide better than consensus for the September quarter this earnings season, which could prove to be a near-term positive,” Muse wrote.

“But when we add up all the pluses and minuses, we now think risk/reward is balanced and do not expect QCOM to outperform our coverage universe from here.”

TheStreet founder Jim Cramer explained why he likes Qualcomm stock.

In February, Citi analyst Christopher Danely downgraded the San Diego company to neutral from buy while lowering his price target to $165 a share from $194.

"We upgraded QCOM last year based on upside driven by share gains and the 5G upgrade cycle. We believe the upside is over and expect more instances of downside such as the lower margins," he said.