Updated from 8:05 a.m. EDT Looks like Qualcomm ( QCOM) is the latest wireless winner. On a day that saw big-tech rival Motorola ( MOT) surge 18% on the heels of a blowout first quarter, Qualcomm posted its own strong numbers Wednesday as the cell-phone industry continues to grow like gangbusters. The company also boosted third-quarter guidance, marking the third time this year it has raised its earnings outlook for 2004. Qualcomm shares rose 2% early Thursday. For its second quarter ended last month, Qualcomm earned $442 million, or 53 cents a share, on revenue of $1.2 billion. Those figures exclude the results of the company's strategic ventures unit, a bubble-era effort at early-stage tech financing that is being unwound. Including the ventures unit, latest-quarter income was $488 million, or 58 cents a share, up from the year-ago $103 million, or 13 cents a share. Analysts surveyed by Thomson First Call had forecast fiscal second-quarter earnings of 48 cents a share on revenue of $1.19 billion. "Our financial results reflect the strong acceptance and rapid global growth of 3G CDMA," said CEO Irwin Mark Jacobs. "Consumers and enterprises increasingly recognize the benefits of CDMA-based networks, with the number of subscribers now exceeding 200 million." The numbers come two months after the San Diego tech titan last boosted its financial forecasts, citing strong demand for its code division multiple access, or CDMA, wireless standard. The industry outlook has gotten so strong that Qualcomm has raised its dividend twice in the span of nine months. Qualcomm boosted its outlook for the current quarter ending in June. Excluding the venture unit, the company expects a 49-cent profit on sales of $1.3 billion. That's a 4% to 7% sequential sales increase. The Wall Street estimate for the third quarter called for earnings of 39 cents on revenue of $1 billion. Qualcomm owns many patents on the CDMA standard. The company benefits from the sales of its phone chips, the licensing of its wireless tech patents and royalties from all CDMA phone sales. On Thursday, Qualcomm rose $2.71 to $68.55.
Even though AT&T tried a last-minute bribe of promising 5,000 new U.S. jobs to help gain support for the deal, the Justice Department filed a complaint to fight the combination of the nation's No. 2 and No. 4 wireless carriers.